Pu‘u Pua‘i Overlook and Devastation Trail now open

  • DAVID BOUCK/National Park Service photo A father nene stands watch earlier this month over his young fledgling in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The fledgling was successfully reared by its parents during a temporary closure of Pu‘u Pua‘i to protect the birds.

The Pu‘u Pua‘i Overlook, parking lot and Devastation Trail opened Thursday after a four-month temporary closure to protect breeding and nesting nene, or endangered Hawaiian geese, in the area.

The temporary closure gave an adult nene pair the space they needed to successfully rear their gosling to a fledgling. While the sensitive breeding season for the Hawaii state bird is winding down, the public is reminded to always stay 60 feet away from nene and never give them food. Nene that are comfortable with people and handouts are more likely to be killed by vehicles.

Only 30 nene remained statewide in 1952. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park began efforts to recover the imperiled species in the 1970s.

The Nene Recovery Program continues today, and more than 200 birds thrive in the park from sea level to about 8,000 feet.

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