Department of Land and Natural Resources investigators will observe the set of “Love Island” this week to determine if the production is having a negative effect on local wildlife.
Ninole resident Paul Beighley, who lives next door to Waterfalling Estate — the primary filming location for the CBS reality TV show — said that after his wife told the Tribune-Herald she observed a seabird in distress flying above the bright lights of the production, a DLNR researcher contacted him about a potential connection with an endangered bird found grounded several miles away.
DLNR East Hawaii Wildlife Biologist Ian Cole said an ‘a‘o — an endangered species of puffin also called the Newell’s shearwater — was found grounded in Umaumau last week.
“Some seabirds have to land in appropriate places in order to take off again,” Cole said, explaining that under certain circumstances — such as bright lights — seabirds can be disoriented and land in places where they become grounded.
The ‘a‘o was found early last week but was released Thursday “in good health,” Cole said.
Cole said there is no way to determine what caused this particular ‘a‘o grounding. He said that because the bird was found several miles away from the “Love Island” set, it is unlikely the production was to blame.
Nonetheless, he said, DLNR researchers will observe the production at a later night this week to see if other birds are threatened by the production’s lights.
Shooting for the show will end Saturday, and the final episode will air Sunday on CBS.
Email Michael Brestovansky at mbrestovansky@hawaiitribune- herald.com.