Extinct Birds of Hawai‘i captures the vanishing world of unique bird species that have slipped away in the Islands mostly due to human frivolity and unconcern. Richly illustrated, including drawings by Julian P. Hume, many painted specifically for this volume, it enables us to enjoy vicariously, avian life unique to Hawai‘i that is no longer, Extinct Birds of Hawai‘i also sends a powerful message.
Hawai‘i is well-known both for its unique scenic beauty and its fascinating native flora, fauna, bird and marine life. But it is also called the extinction capital of the world. The Islands’ seventy-seven bird species and sub-species extinctions account for approximately fifteen percent of global bird extinctions during the last seven-hundred years. On some islands over 80 percent of the original land bird species are now extinct. With the many agents of extinction still operating in the Islands’ forests, Hawai‘i’s remaining native land birds are at a high risk of being lost forever.
Many birdwatchers, nature lovers, and eco-tourists are unaware of the tremendous loss of species that has occurred in this remote archipelago. Extinct Birds of Hawai‘i, besides showing the bird life that has been lost, calls attention to the urgency and need for preservation action.