12 Oct 2009

Hawaii state officials consider new wildlife sanctuary to protect endangered seabird

9:24 am on 12 October 2009

Hawaii state officials are proposing to add an island in Kaneohe Bay to the list of wildlife sanctuaries due to disturbance of an endangered bird habitat.

They see a need for regulations as complaints grow about disruption to nesting wedge-tailed shearwaters.

The 9.5-acre island is state property is frequented by fishermen.

Paul Conroy, the administrator of the Forestry and Wildlife Division, says the last time major additions were made to the refuge list was in the 1980s.

But Kapapa Island was not added because many wanted to retain the island for recreational use.

Last year, biologists counted 256 shearwater chicks on the island.

Shearwater birds are known to arrive on the island in March and lay their eggs in June.