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Education and Outreach

Historic Feature: The Swan Song of the Laysan Honeyeater

This silent clip, taken in 1923 during the USS Tanager Expedition, may be the last recorded image of the now extinct Laysan Honeycreeper (Himatione sanguinea freethi) or Laysan ʻapapane as they are now called. Rabits that were introduced to Laysan in the late 1800's ate all the vegetation, leaving a barren wasteland. Just after this film was taken a strong storm came through and blew the last of the birds off the island, never to be seen or heard again. The harsh habitats on these islands emphasize the tenuous nature of survival here. These land areas are just small oases in the middle of the largest ocean on our planet. Habitat destruction, or modification by alien species can mean a quick end to the creatures that inhabit these islands. Video Credit: Bishop Museum.

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