by The Associated Press, April 20, 2018
HILO, Hawaii (AP) — A group of native Hawaii crows called alalas has been adjusting to a new environment after being released six months ago into the Puu Makaala Natural Area Reserve.
Researchers said the 11 young birds were introduced into the forest through a captive breeding program and have been showing increased natural behaviors, the Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported Wednesday.
The species of crow is extinct in the wild.
The San Diego Zoo, the Department of Land and Natural Resources and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are project partners. Researchers at the University of Hawaii at Hilo are analyzing recordings of the birds' calls.
"They are flying around the forest and becoming more proficient at being wild birds," said Joshua Pang-Ching, a field supervisor with San Diego Zoo Global.
Researchers released an earlier group of five juvenile male alalas in December 2016 but three died within a week. The remaining two were recaptured.
Alalas also were released into the wild in the 1990s, but the species was thought to be extinct in the wild as of 2002.
Information from: Hawaii Tribune-Herald, http://www.hawaiitribune-herald.com/
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