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Oahu Alauahio Paroreomyza maculata
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The last well-documented observation of this species was in 1985, and recent searches specifically for the species have failed. It may have been driven extinct by disease spread by introduced mosquitoes. However, it cannot yet be presumed to be Extinct until all areas of remaining habitat have been thoroughly searched. Any remaining population is likely to be tiny, and for these reasons it is treated as Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct).

Taxonomic source(s)
AOU. 1998. Check-list of North American birds. American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.
Sibley, C. G.; Monroe, B. L. 1990. Distribution and taxonomy of birds of the world. Yale University Press, New Haven, USA.

11 cm. Small, straight-billed, warbler-like passerine. Male yellow below, olive-green above, with dark lores fading into olive eye-stripe, and distinct yellow forehead and superciliary. Female greenish-grey above, pale yellowish-white below, with two prominent, pale wing-bars, pale lores and forehead, and dark eye-stripe. Similar spp. Both sexes of O'ahu `Amakihi Hemignathus flavus have dark forehead, curved bills, and no pale superciliary. Introduced Japanese White-eye Zosterops japonicus has bold white eye-ring. Voice Song unknown. Call a loud cherk.

Distribution and population
Paroreomyza maculata is endemic to O`ahu in the Hawaiian Islands (USA), where fossil evidence indicates that it once occurred in the lowlands (Olson and James 1982). In the past few decades, there have only been a few confirmed sightings, with several of these from the area around North Halawa Valley, Ko`olau range (Pratt 1993). However, many recent records are viewed with doubt because of its close similarity with Hemignathus flavus. The last well-documented observation was of two birds on 12 December 1985 on Poamoho Trail during the Waipi`o Christmas Bird Count (Bremer 1986); the last specimen was taken in 1968 and some consider this the last definitive record (Roberts et al. 2010). There have been several reports from different areas since, but details of the observations have been inconclusive and the birds were never relocated. However, it cannot yet be presumed to be Extinct until further surveys have confirmed that there is no reasonable doubt that the last individual has died. If any population remains, it is likely to be tiny.

Population justification
Any remaining population is assumed to be tiny (numbering fewer than 50 individuals and mature individuals), with the last probable sighting in 1985, despite recent searches for the species.

In the 1890s, it was reported to eat quantities of carabid beetles, most likely wood-borers, as it was seen feeding on the dead branches of koa trees (Berger 1972). Recent sightings have been between 300 and 650 m in remnant native, lowland mesic to wet forest (Baker and Baker 2000). One nest with two eggs was collected in late January 1901 (Berger 1972).

Some native forests remain on O`ahu, so habitat loss and alteration cannot fully explain the decline of this species (VanderWerf et al. 1997). Disease spread by introduced mosquitoes is prevalent in the lowlands (Lindsey et al. 1998) and is a likely contributory factor. Circumstantial evidence links declines of some native birds on O`ahu with the spread of introduced birds, but there is no direct evidence for their impact (Scott et al. 1986, VanderWerf et al. 1997) and, as this species probably feeds primarily on wood-boring insects, introduced birds are unlikely to be significant competitors. The construction of the H-3 freeway (for which the US Congress gave specific exemption from the Endangered Species Act) destroyed habitat around North Halawa Valley, from which some of the most recent confirmed sightings have come (Pratt 1993, J. Lepson in litt. 1999).

Conservation Actions Underway
Surveys have been carried out during the 1990s to search for this species, but have failed to find any birds (Pratt 1994). A "Rare Bird Discovery Protocol" has been developed which could be applied to this species in the event of its rediscovery (US Fish and Wildlife Service 2006). Conservation Actions Proposed
Continue to conduct intensive and extensive surveys to locate any remaining populations (Baker and Baker 2000), following similar methods to the Hawaii Rare Bird Search (Reynolds and Snetsinger 2001). If any birds are found, start intensive monitoring, including the collection of data on vocalisations, foraging and breeding behaviour (Baker and Baker 2000). If active nests are found, ensure localised predator control (Baker and Baker 2000). Consider captive propagation, following development of specific techniques (Baker and Baker 2000).

Baker, P. E.; Baker, H. 2000. Kakawahie Paroroeomyza flammea and O'ahu 'Alauahio Paroreomyza maculata. In: Poole, A.; Gill, F. (ed.), The birds of North America, No.503, pp. 1-24. Academy of Natural Sciences & the American Ornithologists' Union, Philadelphia & Washington.

Berger, A. J. 1972. Hawaiian birdlife. University Press of Hawaii, Honolulu.

Bremer, D. 1986. Waipio, O'ahu, Christmas bird count. Elepaio 46: 132-135.

Jacobi, J. D.; Atkinson, C. T. 1995. Hawaii's endemic birds. In: LaRoe, E.T. (ed.), Our living resources: a report to the nation on the distribution, abundance, and health of US plants, animals, and ecosystems, pp. 376-381. U.S. Department of the Interior, National Biological Service, Washington, D.C.

Lindsey, G. D.; Vanderwerf, E. A.; Baker, H.; Baker, P. 1998. Hawai'i (Hemignathus virens), Kaua'i (Hemignathus kauaiensis), O'ahu (Hemignathus chloris) and Greater 'Amakihi (Hemignathus sagittirostris). In: Poole, A.; Gill, F. (ed.), The birds of North America, No. 360, pp. 1-28. The Academy of Natural Sciences and The American Ornithologists' Union, Philadelphia and Washington, DC.

Olson, S. L.; James, H. F. 1982. Prodromus of the fossil avifauna of the Hawaiian Islands. Smithsonian Institute Press, Washington, D.C.

Olson, S. L.; James, H. F. 1982. Fossil birds from the Hawaiian Islands: evidence for wholesale extinction by man before western contact. Science 217: 633-635.

Pratt, H. D. 1993. Enjoying birds in Hawaii: a birdfinding guide to the fiftieth state. Mutual Publishing, Honolulu.

Pratt, H. D. 1994. Avifaunal change in the Hawaiian Islands, 1893-1993. Studies in Avian Biology 15: 103-118.

Reynolds, M. H.; Snetsinger, T. J. 2001. The Hawai`i Rare Bird Search 1994-1996. Studies in Avian Biology 22: 133-143.

Scott, J. M.; Mountainspring, S.; Ramsey, F. L.; Kepler, C. B. 1986. Forest bird communties of the Hawaiian Islands: their dynamics, ecology, and conservation. Cooper Ornithological Society, California.

U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 2006. Revised Recovery Plan for Hawaiian Forest Birds. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Honolulu, Hawaii.

VanderWerf, E. A.; Cowell, A.; Rohrer, J. L. 1997. Distribution, abundance, and conservation of O'ahu 'Elepaio in the Southern Leeward Ko'olau Range. 'Elepaio 57: 99-105.

Further web sources of information
Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE) species/site profile. This species has been identified as an AZE trigger due to its IUCN Red List status and limited range.

Audubon WatchList

Click here for more information about the Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE)

Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species

Search for photos and videos, and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - Revised Recovery Plan for Hawaiian Forest Birds 2006

Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Bird, J., Butchart, S., Derhé, M., Isherwood, I., Stattersfield, A., Stuart, T., Symes, A.

Camp, R., Fretz, S., Gorresen, M., Lepson, J., Nelson, J., VanderWerf, E., Woodworth, B.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Paroreomyza maculata. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016.

This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Additional resources for this species

ARKive species - Oahu alauahio (Paroreomyza maculata) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Critically Endangered - Possibly Extinct
Family Fringillidae (Finches and Hawaiian honeycreepers)
Species name author (Cabanis, 1850)
Population size 1-7 mature individuals
Population trend Unknown
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 80 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species