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ESR 52:231-246 (2023)  -  DOI:

Predicted distribution of ‘ua‘u (Hawaiian petrel Pterodroma sandwichensis) nest sites on Haleakalā, Maui

Josh Adams1,*, Jonathan J. Felis1, Rob Klinger2, Emma C. Kelsey1, Joy Tamayose3, Raina Kaholoa‘a3, Cathleen Bailey3, Jay F. Penniman4, Jennifer Learned4, Ciara Ganter5, John Medeiros5, Huisheng Chen3,6

1US Geological Survey, Western Ecological Research Center, Santa Cruz Field Station, Santa Cruz, CA 95060, USA
2US Geological Survey, Western Ecological Research Center, Bishop, CA 93514, USA
3US National Park Service, Haleakalā National Park, Kula, HI 96790, USA
4Maui Nui Seabird Recovery Project, Makawao, HI 96768, USA
5Hawai‘i State Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Forestry and Wildlife, Maui Branch, Kahului, HI 96732, USA
6Research Corporation of the University of Hawai‘i, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Haleakalā National Park and montane areas on east Maui, Hawaiian Archipelago, support critical nesting habitat for endangered ‘ua‘u Hawaiian petrel Pterodroma sandwichensis. Habitat loss, non-native predators, and damage by feral ungulates are limiting factors for ground-nesting petrels at Haleakalā and throughout Hawai‘i. Because nesting habitats differ among the Hawaiian Islands, habitat distribution modeling for Hawaiian petrel has been island specific. Based on 2453 known nest site locations, we provide the first landscape-scale predictive model describing relative abundance and habitat available for nesting petrels throughout upper Haleakalā (1830 to 3055 m). We evaluated (principal components analyses and Pearson’s correlation) 13 spatial landscape and climate predictor variables associated with nest sites and the background landscape followed by random forest modeling to predict nest site density. Six variables (elevation, slope, topographic position index at 2 scales, heat load index, presence-absence ash/cinder, and presence-absence vegetation) indicated nest sites occurred non-randomly throughout the central part of the summit and crater; greatest concentrations were predicted along the crater rim and a ridgeline extending southwest from the summit. Moderately high predicted density occurred in the northeastern and northern crater. Lower elevations to the north, west, and south flanks of Haleakalā had relatively fewer predicted nest sites. Although we focused on higher elevations on Haleakalā, there is no reason to suspect that conservation efforts would not be successful at lower elevations, provided nesting petrels were protected from invasive predators, grazing ungulates, and significant land alteration.

KEY WORDS: Gadfly petrel · Nesting habitat · Hawaiian petrel · Haleakalā · Habitat modeling · Random forest modeling · Conservation science

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Cite this article as: Adams J, Felis JJ, Klinger R, Kelsey EC and others (2023) Predicted distribution of ‘ua‘u (Hawaiian petrel Pterodroma sandwichensis) nest sites on Haleakalā, Maui. Endang Species Res 52:231-246.

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