LAWAI — More than 30 wedge-tailed shearwaters were found dead Sunday in the seabird colony at Spouting Horn in the Lawai area.
Most of the 34 dead shearwaters were found near the parking lot end of Lawai Road. The Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Forestry and Wildlife biologists said the evidence is pointing to loose dogs as the culprits behind the kills.
“DLNR again urges Kauai communities to ensure that dogs are not allowed to run loose, which is a violation of both state and county laws,” said Thomas Kaiakapu, DOFAW Kauai District biologist. “There have been multiple attacks on Kauai’s native birds by dogs and cats over the years.”
Kaiakapu said local landowners have given DOFAW authority to do some dog trapping, “which we hope will lead us to the responsible dog owners.”
This isn’t the first time dogs have been blamed for killing the ground-nesting seabirds.
“Unfortunately, though, unless someone saw the attack and identifies the dog, it is very difficult to definitively prove,” Kaiakapu said. “This is why we need more citizen monitors to help us protect and care for these vulnerable birds in their habitat.”
The seabird carcasses have been taken to the DOFAW baseyard in Lihue for autopsy to confirm how they were killed and wildlife managers are meeting with Kauai Division of Conservation Resources Enforcement on how to address this situation and prevent it from happening again.
Anyone with information about the bird kill is urged to contact DLNR DOCARE at 643-DLNR.