Uēkahuna overlook in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park closed for breeding and nesting of nēnē
The Uēkahuna overlook, restrooms, and parking lot in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park is temporarily closed today to protect breeding and nesting nēnē (Hawaiian geese) in the area.
The closure lies west of the intersection with Kīlauea Overlook, which will remain open and accessible. Visitors can hike about one-third of a mile west of the overlook to a trail sign marking the closure along Crater Rim Trail. Vehicles over 25 feet in length cannot proceed west on Crater Rim Drive beyond the Kilauea Military Camp.
Park officials ask visitors to do their part in protecting the nēnē by keeping their distance, at least four car lengths away, and never feed the birds or wildlife.
“Handouts make nēnē seek out people and cars, putting them in great danger,” park officials stated in a press release. “Drivers should be alert for nēnē along park roads, always observe the speed limit, and slow down for all nēnē crossing signs in the park and throughout the island.”
In 1952, only 30 nēnē remained statewide. Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park began efforts to recover the imperiled geese in the 1970s. The Nēnē Recovery Program continues today, and close to 200 birds thrive in the park from sea level to around 8,000 feet.