The Maui Coastal Land Trust (MCLT) is a non-profit organization that is devoted to preserving land and species in the Hawaiian Islands. Established in 2003, the MCLT works to conserve and restore native ecosystems, safeguard endangered species, and promote sustainable land use. The MCLT has partnered with the Freeman Family Foundation, the Legacy Land and Natural Resources Conservation Program of the Hawaii Department of Lands and Natural Resources, and Pacific Coast Joint VentureU to create a native plant seed bank to restore parts of its Waihe'e dune as native seabird nesting habitat. Unfortunately, human-introduced predators such as rats, cats, mongooses, barn owls, dogs, goats and deer are a major threat to seabirds and their nesting habitats. Seabirds evolved millions of years ago without the presence of terrestrial predatory mammals, making them easy prey.
As a result, their population has declined significantly on the main Hawaiian Islands due to predation. Fortunately, there are steps that can be taken to help protect these species. Keeping cats indoors and dogs tied up can help reduce predation. Additionally, artificial lights can be disorienting for seabirds as they navigate using the moon and stars. To help reduce this problem, people can turn off outdoor lights when not in use and use shielded lights in their homes or businesses. By taking these simple steps, we can all contribute to protecting land and species safeguarded by the Maui Coastal Land Trust.
By working together, we can ensure that these species will continue to thrive for generations to come.