Kauai Nukupuu

Hemignathus hanapepe

The Kauaʻi nukupuʻu (Hemignathus hanapepe) was a species of nukupuʻu once found throughout parts of the Hawaiian island of Kauaʻi. It was an insect eater that picked out its tiny prey from tree bark. The males were yellowish with brown wings, while the females were grayish brown with a yellow throat streak. From 1984-1998, it was recorded several times in this area, but later analysis of these sightings indicates that almost all these observations were likely of Kauaʻi ʻamakihi (Chlorodrepanis stejnegeri). It was also feared that the winds from Hurricane Iniki in 1992 could have created more damage to the bird's habitat. Intensive searches for this species throughout the 1990s were unsuccessful, although a single unconfirmed report was made in 2007. The species was likely already extinct by 1906, but the recency of some of the unconfirmed sightings indicates that the species should likely not be classified as extinct unless there is no doubt that it is. In September 2021, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed that the Kauaʻi nukupuʻu extinct, citing fruitless and extensive surveys.
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