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’ALALA } Corvus hawaiiensis

RANGE: Hawaii

STATUS: The 'alalā is protected as Endangered under the Endangered Species Act. It’s deemed Extinct in the Wild by the IUCN.

THREATS: Disease, predation

Celebrated as a family god by some native Hawaiians, the 'alalā — or Hawaiian crow — was last seen in the wild in 2002. Today, the only known birds are in two captive breeding facilities operated by the San Diego Zoo. While the reasons behind this bird’s decline aren’t fully understood, scientists believe that introduced diseases like avian malaria and fowlpox were a significant factor. Captive-bred birds haven’t yet been successfully reintroduced into the wild, largely because of the predation by the Hawaii hawk (also imperiled). The 'alalā is known for its strong flying ability and resourcefulness.

Photo courtesy U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service