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.
KIHEI – Three Molokai and Maui schools plus Maui 4-H’ers received a total of $4,620 from the Monsanto Hawaii Science Education Fund for science and robotics programs.
The Maui County grants were part of $12,000 distributed statewide to 14 schools and organizations.
"It’s gratifying to see how excited our youth get as they learn about their world – how it works, how it touches our lives each day, how much there is to know and explore," said Paul Koehler, community affairs director for Monsanto Hawaii."Through this grant program, we hope to open up wonderful experiences for dynamic learning."