From December through April is nesting season for nēnē, the endangered Hawaiian goose. At Haleakala National Park, these birds are often seen along the roadsides and in parking lots, where careless drivers sometimes hit or run over them. The remarkably curious birds have little fear of humans, and they aren't able to fly away quickly.
Just a few days ago, a motorist rushing up the highway to catch the sunrise from Haleakala's volcanic summit fatally struck a breeding pair of nēnē. Unfortunately, in 2012 there has already been a greater than average number of nēnē who have died after being hit by motor vehicles.
So how can you help? It's easy: just slow down and obey the posted speed limits in the park. Drive even more carefully during rainy or foggy weather, when visibility is limited. Check around your parked car before backing up, to avoid any birds that may be hanging out underneath your vehicle.
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Photo credits: Haleakala National Park (Michael Connolly Jr.)
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