Strong wetland management on Kauai has led to a preserved population of pureblood Koloa maoli ducks, according to new research.
These little brown ducks are unique in that they only exist in Hawaii, but the ducks have been crossbreeding with introduced or feral mallard ducks, resulting in hybrids on Oahu, Maui, Molokai and Hawaii Island.
Kim Uyehara, a biologist who works with the ducks at the Kauai National Wildlife Refuge Complex, was worried the Koloa ducks on Kauai were starting to intermingle as well.
So she teamed up with Caitlin Wells, postdoctoral fellow and researcher at Colorado State University, to investigate. Recently, the duo published a study using two decades of research and detailing their findings — that the population is still pure.Continue reading “Kauai’s Koloa going strong”