KALAHEO — Dr. Lisa ‘Cali’ Crampton, leader of the Kauai Forest Bird Recovery Project, will present a public lecture on the “Evolution and Conservation of Kauai Forest Birds” Tuesday, May 19 from 5:30 p.m. in the cafeteria at the Kauai Community College Campus Center in Puhi.
Crampton will reveal the Kauai of an earlier age when birds evolved in isolation free of continental genetic influences. Explaining the evolutionary path of Kauai’s native birds and how they adapted to the distinctive topography and climate of the island, Crampton’s talk will illuminate how tiny Kauai provided the varied habitats and conditions that resulted in a rich diversity of bird life.
In recent centuries habitat loss, introduced plant and animal species and, most deadly, avian malaria, have had an enormous impact on native birds. More than half of the native bird species have gone extinct in the last century with most remaining populations restricted to remote mountain areas. After discussing evolution and endangerment, Crampton will talk about what her organization is doing to protect Kauai’s irreplaceable native bird life that is so reliant on healthy native forests.
Crampton has led the Kauai Forest Bird Recovery Project since 2010.
The “Balance of Nature” lecture series is one of many collaborations between the National Tropical Botanical Garden and KCC.
Info: www.ntbg.org and kauai.hawaii.edu