Nene Death Prompts Driving Warning to Park Visitors
The death of a nene in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park has rangers reminding visitors to drive carefully.
The nene, half of a well-known breeding pair, was struck by a vehicle last week on Chain of Craters Road near Pauahi Crater. Her mate of 13 years escaped harm.
The female that was killed was hatched in captivity in the park in 1991 and had successfully raised 24 goslings. She was described as a rare “double-clutch” breeder because she successfully reared two broods in a single breeding season.
“It is a shame that a nene with such a long and productive life had to die so tragically,” said Rhonda Loh, the park’s chief of resource management.
The nene is the Hawaii state bird. There are an estimated 2,000 of the geese statewide, including about 200 within the park.
Nene can sometimes be seen along the park’s roadsides during nesting season which runs from October through March. Park officials encouraged the public to be on the lookout for the birds, especially in areas marked with nene crossing signs.
Visitors also are encouraged not to feed the geese as that can make them dependent on handouts near roadways.