19th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Natural World
Akiapōlā‘au on a Koa Branch in the Hakalau Forest Preserve

This is the nearly extinct, highly endangered honey creeper, Akiapōlā‘au, in his native habitat on the Big Island of Hawaii in the protected Hakalau Forest Preserve. This is the only place in the world where he can be seen, at higher elevations among the Koa trees. Only about 1000 left, the bird was making a small comeback at the higher elevations with their cooler temperatures, which kept disease carrying mosquitoes at bay. With global temperatures rising yearly now, this is no longer the case. The mosquitoes have arrived, and the Akiapola au, along with other native species, are dying off at alarming rates.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 05.2021
Date Uploaded: 11.2021
Photo Location: Hawaii, United States of America
Camera: Canon EOS R
Copyright: © Linda Aulicino