A foundation for outreach

Maui National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters and Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center

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The 7,500-square-foot building currently under construction near the Kihei end of Piilani Highway is scheduled to be completed by early fall. Refuge manager Glynnis Nakai said the $5 million project is federally funded. About half the building will be used for office space and the other half as an exhibit hall, she said. The hall will include interpretive panels and house the facility’s developing education program. Nakai said that in the future she and her staff hope to develop a volunteer program and “Friends of Kealia Pond” group to expand the refuge’s outreach, and perhaps staff the exhibit hall.

A foundation for outreach – Mauinews.com | News, Sports, Jobs, Visitor’s Information – The Maui News

Birds steer clear of arid Maui coast – The Maui News


Ae'o at Kealia Pond
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During a good winter, when water levels remain high at the Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge, 120 or more endangered Hawaiian coot nests have been counted at the coastal wetland.

This year, with the leeward side of Maui suffering extreme drought conditions, only a handful of nests were found at the north Kihei pond, according to refuge Manager Glynnis Nakai.

Low water levels also discouraged nesting by endangered Hawaiian stilts, she said.

There’s no telling whether the drought will have a long-term impact on native bird populations.

"We can only hope that they are traveling to Kanaha Pond or other islands where there is sufficient habitat," Nakai said.