User login

A Community of Green Bloggers & Activists

Endangered Species Wednesday: Laysan Duck

endangered laysan ducksAloha!  The Laysan duck, also called the Laysan teal, is a dabbling duck native to Hawaii.  They are endangered and currently live on only three isolated islands.  

Did you know? 

These ducks were almost extinct.  In 1912, their population reached an all-time with only of 7 adults and 5 juveniles!

Why are Laysan ducks endangered? 

The decline of the Laysan Duck began over one thousand years ago, when Polynesians colonized the Hawaiian Islands and brought with them non-native mammals that preyed on these ducks.  Currently, food shortages, particularly during droughts, and rising sea levels, are the main threat to these poor little ducks.  Additionally, non-native insects compete for their food and introduced plants threaten their habitats.  Also, the Laysan Finch (also endangered) will eat the Laysan Duck's eggs.  

Recovery after near-extinction:

After many domestic rabbits starved or were eradicated by biologists in 1923, the Laysan ducks began to recover.  In the fifties, the population bounced back and reached about 500.  They also received federal protection through the Endangered Species Act.  

How many Laysan Ducks are there today?

In 2004, there were an estimated 576 ducks.  

How can I help? 

Donate or become a member of the Hawaii Audubon Society, a chapter of National Audubon. The Hawaii Audubon Society works to protect and educate people about Hawaii's birds, including the Laysan Ducks.