Akekee (Loxops caeruleirostris)

Federal Register | Recovery | Critical Habitat | Conservation Plans | Petitions | Life History

Listing Status:   

Where Listed: WHEREVER FOUND

General Information

The 'Akeke'e is a small Hawaiian honeycreeper. Both sexes are greenish above and have a yellow underside, triangular black face mask, as well as yellow cap and rump. The tail is long and notched, and the bill is conical with a light bluish gray color. Their legs and eyes appear black in the field, and the tip of the lower mandible is curved to one side.

References cited in Species Profile

  • Benkman, C. W. 1989. On the foraging behavior of the Kaua'i 'Akepa. 'Elepaio 49:29-30.
  • Eddinger, C. R. 1972. Discovery of the nest of the Kauai Akepa. Wilson Bull. 84:95-97.
  • Lepson, Jaan Kaimanu and H. Douglas Pratt. 1997. Akekee (Loxops caeruleirostris), The Birds of North America Online (A. Poole, Ed.). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; Retrieved from the Birds of North America Online: http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/bna/species/295
  • Perkins, R. C. L. 1895. Notes on some Hawaiian birds. Ibis series 7, Vol. 1:117-129.
  • Pratt, H. D. 1994. Avifaunal change in the Hawaiian Islands, 1893-1993. Stud. Avian Biol. no. 15:103-118.
  • Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources. 2015. 'Akeke'e Fact Sheet: http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/wildlife/files/2013/09/Fact-sheet-akekee.pdf

    • States/US Territories in which the Akekee, Wherever found is known to or is believed to occur:  Hawaii
    • US Counties in which the Akekee, Wherever found is known to or is believed to occur:  View All
     
    Current Listing Status Summary
    Status Date Listed Lead Region Where Listed
    2010-05-13 Pacific Region (Region 1) Wherever found

    » Federal Register Documents

    Federal Register Documents
    Date Citation Page Title
    1994-11-15 00:00:00.0 59 FR 58982 59028 ETWP; Animal Candidate Review for Listing as Endangered or Threatened Species.
    2015-02-13 00:00:00.0 80 FR 8100 8103 Initiation of 5-Year Status Reviews of 133 Species in Hawaii, Oregon, Idaho, and Washington
    2008-10-21 00:00:00.0 73 FR 62592 62742 Listing 48 Species on Kauai as Endangered and Designating Critical Habitat; Proposed Rule
    2010-04-13 00:00:00.0 75 FR 18960 19165 Determination of Endangered Status for 48 Species on Kauai and Designation of Critical Habitat; Final Rule

    » Recovery

    Current Recovery Plan(s)
    Date Title Plan Action Status Plan Status
    2010-06-17 Recovery Outline for the Kauai Ecosystem Recovery efforts in progress, but no implementation information yet to display Outline
    Other Recovery Documents
    Date Citation Page Title Document Type
    2015-02-13 80 FR 8100 8103 Initiation of 5-Year Status Reviews of 133 Species in Hawaii, Oregon, Idaho, and Washington
    • Notice 5-year Review, Initiation

    » Critical Habitat

    Date Citation Page Title Document Type Status
    2010-04-13 75 FR 18960 19165 Determination of Endangered Status for 48 Species on Kauai and Designation of Critical Habitat; Final Rule Final Rule Final designated
    2008-10-21 73 FR 62592 62742 Listing 48 Species on Kauai as Endangered and Designating Critical Habitat; Proposed Rule Proposed Rule Not Required

    To learn more about critical habitat please see http://ecos.fws.gov/crithab

    » Conservation Plans

    No conservation plans have been created for Akekee.

    » Petitions

    » Life History

    Habitat Requirements

    The 'Akeke'e inhabits Lowland Mesic and Wet Forests. The highest densities of these species are found in 'o hi'a forest in Alaka'i "Swamp." This is the wettest location in U.S., where average annual rainfall approaches 1,500 cm. The most common trees in these forests are 'o hi'a (Metrosideros polymorpha), koa (Acacia koa), 'o lapa (Cheirodendron trigynum), and lapalapa (C. platyphyllum).

    Food Habits

    The 'Akeke'e feeds mostly on spiders, psyllids, and caterpillars. Their tongue is similar to their nectarivorous relatives, taking nectar on rare occasions. Sifts through 'o hi'a leaf clusters with quick, deliberate movements, and appears to insert bill-tips between leaf scales and then gape while laterally abducting lower mandible.

    Movement / Home Range

    The 'Akeke'e is endemic to Kaua'i Island of the Hawaiian archipelago. The 'Akeke'e population is generally restricted to high-elevation forests that are in nearly pristine condition on the eastern edge of Koke'e State Park and the Alaka'i Wilderness Preserve.

    Reproductive Strategy

    The 'Akeke'e nests in open-cup nests located in terminal crowns of 'o hi'a trees. Composition is poorly known, but may consist of mostly mosses and some lichen.

    Other

    The 'Akeke'e population appears to have remained relatively stable for the past 35 years, unlike many other Kaua'i endemics, which have seriously declined. Despite destructive effects of two powerful hurricanes in the past 15 years, the 'Akeke'e remains relatively common in native forests above 1,100 m elevation. Estimation of trends is complicated by the difficulty of field identification of Kaua'i forest birds, particularly when relying on vocalizations alone. Development in the Ko ke'e region, as well as continued introduction of alien plants and animals, reduces the amount of suitable habitat available. Past human activity has and continues to adversely affect the 'Akeke'e through habitat destruction, both directly through forest-clearing and logging, and indirectly through introduced pigs, goats (Capra hircus), and deer (Odocoileus hemionus); introduced mosquitoes, particularly Culex quinquefasciatus and Aedes albopictus, as disease vectors, introduced birds as potential competitors and reservoirs of disease; introduced rats as nest predators; and introduced cats (Felis catus) and Barn Owls as predators on adults. For more information about this species, including occurrence, conservation strategies and recovery actions in specific states or regions, refer to the following resources:

    • Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources. 2015. 'Akeke'e Fact Sheet: http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/wildlife/files/2013/09/Fact-sheet-akekee.pdf
    • Kauai Forest Bird Recovery Project website. 2015.: http://kauaiforestbirds.org/birds/akekee/ (includes Akekee Recovery Plan Information)

      » Other Resources

      NatureServe Explorer Species Reports -- NatureServe Explorer is a source for authoritative conservation information on more than 50,000 plants, animals and ecological communtities of the U.S and Canada. NatureServe Explorer provides in-depth information on rare and endangered species, but includes common plants and animals too. NatureServe Explorer is a product of NatureServe in collaboration with the Natural Heritage Network.

      ITIS Reports -- ITIS (the Integrated Taxonomic Information System) is a source for authoritative taxonomic information on plants, animals, fungi, and microbes of North America and the world.

      FWS Digital Media Library -- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's National Digital Library is a searchable collection of selected images, historical artifacts, audio clips, publications, and video.