Celebrate Nene Awareness Day

HANALEI — Sept. 26 is Nene Awareness Day, and Kauai is celebrating with several events hosted by the Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Forestry and Wildlife, and the Kauai Nene Habitat Conservation Plan.

Learn about what makes our state bird the world’s rarest goose during the “Discover the Nene” presentation from 2 to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Hanalei Community Center.

There will also be a nene information table at the Ching Young Village Shopping Center in Hanalei on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Sept. 26 from noon to 5 p.m.

Help protect Hawaii’s native birds every day by keeping your pets indoors, on leash, in a kennel, or in a fenced yard. Help keep nene wild by keeping your distance and never feeding them. Observe speed limits and slow down for nene and their families. To report an injured or dead bird, call the DLNR DOFAW Kauai office at (808) 274-3433.

Once on the edge of extinction with only 50 birds remaining in the wild, it is today possible for Hawaii visitors and residents to see nene in the wild across Kauai and the state thanks to conservation efforts, including captive breeding, that have worked to preserve these birds and re-establish them in their native habitat.

The nene or Hawaiian goose was officially designated Hawaii’s state bird on May 7, 1957, and in 2003, Sept. 26 was officially designated Nene Awareness Day by Gov.Linda Lingle.

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