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Opponents of latest AR state tax cuts say they benefit wealthy Arkansans; Julian Assange agrees to a plea deal that would allow him to avoid imprisonment in US; Tech-based carbon-capture projects make headway in local government; NV nonprofit calls Biden's student debt initiatives economic justice.

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Charges against fake electors in Nevada are dismissed, Milwaukee officials get ready to expect the unexpected at the RNC convention, and the Justice Department says Alaska is violating the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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A Minnesota town claims the oldest rural Pride Festival while rural educators say they need support to teach kids social issues, rural businesses can suffer when dollar stores come to town and prairie states like South Dakota are getting help to protect grasslands.

Conservation groups celebrate biodiversity of Hawaiian bird species

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Friday, April 26, 2024   

Conservation groups say the Hawaiian Islands are on the leading edge of the fight to preserve endangered birds, since climate change and habitat loss are making it difficult for many indigenous species to survive.

A coalition of conservation organizations will hold the annual Manu o Ku Festival this weekend to celebrate the islands' myriad species.

John Kantor, a wildlife biologist with the National Wildlife Federation, said the U.S. Migratory Bird Treaty Act has helped preserve many exotic Hawaiian species.

"The federal Endangered Species Act, and the funds that are raised for migratory birds under the various programs there, are funding the frontline researchers and conservationists and folks that are trying to solve this multitude of issues that threaten Hawaii's birds," he explained.

The festival, sponsored by the Conservation Council for Hawaii and the National Wildlife Federation, will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Coronation Pavilion of the Iolani Palace in Honolulu.

Kanter said the Migratory Bird Treaty was created in 1918 and updated in 1936. In conjunction with Canada, Mexico and other nations, it limits the taking of certain species for commercial products or as game. He cited the wood duck as one example, which is now plentiful but was almost wiped out a century ago.

"That species was almost extinct," he said, "and it is a hunted species - but there's strict regulations that are developed between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the states every year, based on the number of birds, that then are applied to the following season."

This year's festival celebrates the manu o ku, or white fairy tern, as an ambassador for other native Hawaiian species. Organizers have said conservation groups, educators and others are invited to share games and activities for people of all ages in learning about the manu o ku.

Disclosure: National Wildlife Federation contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Endangered Species & Wildlife, Energy Policy, Water. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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