In 1973 the US Fish and Wildlife purchased 241 acres to set aside for the protection of Hawaii’s water birds. Within the past 200 yrs. Hawaii has lost more than 31% of its coastal wetlands. The wetlands that remain, the majority is degraded by altered hydrology, contaminants and invasive species.
Except for the Hawaiian coot, none of these species consistently number more than 2,000. Kaua’i has the largest population of Koloa in the State. The Hawaiian stilt in 1940 only numbered 200. Recent estimated population is about 1,500. In 1970 the ‘Alae Ula numbered as few as 30. The largest population is found in Hanalei and Wailua. In 2003 their count was just under 300. The current population is in the low 100’s and is now only found on O’ahu and Kaua’i.