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Once endangered nene now growing in numbers

This gaggle of nene landed at Waikapu Gardens Park on Saturday. The Hawaiian goose was down listed from endangered to threatened in December. As many as 25,000 nene lived in the Hawaiian Islands before the arrival of Capt. James Cook in 1778 but by the 1950s, there were fewer than 30 in the state due to aggressive hunting of the birds, collecting of their eggs and the introduction of predators like mongoose, rats, pigs, dogs and cats. By 1890, they could not be found on Maui. But in 1962, captive bred nene were released in Haleakala Crater. Their numbers currently are estimated at about 500 on the island.

Bert Swole O’Reilly Photography

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