Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Happy birthday!

Today marks the 103rd birthday of the National Wildlife Refuge System. Begun by President Teddy Roosevelt, the system now includes 545 refuges throughout the states and provides habitat for more than 700 species of birds.

More than 250 threatened or endangered species live on refuges, and the presence of those at-risk species — such as Hawaiian Coot, California Condor, Kirtland's Warbler and Florida Scrub-Jay — prompted the creation of some refuges.

Kilauea Point NWR on the Hawaiian island of Kauai provides habitat for the state bird, Nene (nay-nay), among other species such as Pacific Golden-Plovers. The island includes two more refuges: Hanalei, which hosts endangered native waterbirds, and Huleia, which also provides habitat for at-risk waterbirds such as Hawaiian Stilt (Himantopus mexicanus knudseni).

Roosevelt established the first refuge at Pelican Island in Florida in 1903 to protect Brown Pelicans from hunters. To celebrate the refuge system's birthday, Pelican Island NWR and other refuges planned celebratory events. Maybe you can join the festivities at a refuge near you this month!

Kilauea Point NWR courtesy of U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service


Blogger Left I on the News said...

Pretty amazing timing considering that a dam just broke above Kilauea, killing at least one, and the road is seriously cut just before Kilauea (and between Princeville and Hanalei).

March 14, 2006 4:35 PM  
Blogger Left I on the News said...

Some of my pictures from Kilauea Lighthouse:

Nene: http://static.flickr.com/55/112652134_69b93d1e9e_b.jpg

Frigatebird: http://static.flickr.com/44/112652135_316c7dccc1_o.jpg

Red-footed booby: http://static.flickr.com/39/112652136_2377f194d9_o.jpg

March 15, 2006 9:56 AM  

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