What and Why: The Hawaiian islands provide habitat and nesting grounds to a variety of seabird species including endangered and migratory ones. In addition to tree nesters and ground nesters, there are nocturnal burrowing birds that are especially vulnerable to feral cats and rats. Due to the cryptic nesting habits of these burrowing seabirds, it can be hard to know where their nests are, which in turn can make it challenging to protect them from predators.
Seabirds are a huge conservation priority in the islands, and CDH is excited to focus its efforts towards seabird detection this year to meet this important and ongoing need. We currently have three dog-handler teams certified for seabird detection. Other applications for seabird detection include locating downed seabird chicks in urban/suburban areas, a result of the birds getting confused by artificial lights, and sometimes injured, when fledging. If they are promptly rescued from their hiding places, they have a higher chance of avoiding predators, illness and death.
Where: Hawaiian islands