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Laysan finch

The Laysan finch (Telespiza cantans) is endemic to Laysan Island in the Northwest Hawaiian Island. (See Laysan duck entry for a description of island ecology and management history). The population has fluctuated significantly since censusing began in 1966 [1, 2], but shows a weakly increasing trend since 1967. The population was estimated at 7,779 in 1967 and 9,393 in 2004 [2]. It reached highs of 20,802 in 1976 and 18,274 in 1984, and lows of 6,188 in 1978 and 5,201 in 1988.

A population of 108 birds was introduced to the four islets of Pearl and Hermes Atoll in 1967 [1, 2]. In 2005, 707 finches were present [2]. This population has also fluctuated significantly, with three of the islet subpopulations dying out at least once. Although the population has a positive population trend, it is unstable and will always remain small due to the carrying capacity of the islets.

[1] Morin, M. P. and S. Conant. 2002. Laysan Finch (Telespiza cantans) and Nihoa Finch (Telespiza ultima). In The Birds of North America, No. 639 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Birds of North America, Inc., Philadelphia, PA.
[2] Freifeld, H. 2005. Laysan finch popuation status, 1966-2005. Data provided by Holly Freifeld, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Honolulu, HI, September 23, 2005.

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