The ʻalalā or Hawaiian crow (photo credit U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

San Diego Zoo Global has just released a video featuring University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo research and conservation work for the ʻalalā (Hawaiian crow). San Diego Zoo Global, in partnership with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the State of Hawaiʻi Division of Forestry and Wildlife has created two bird propagation centers in Hawaiʻi—the Keauhou Bird Conservation Center and the Maui Bird Conservation Center, with bird releases and other fieldwork occurring at other field sites.

In collaboration with PacBio, scientists at San Diego Zoo Global and UH Hilo have fully sequenced the genome of the ʻalalā, or Hawaiian crow. Featured in the video is the work of Jolene Sutton, assistant professor of biology who specializes in evolutionary genetics, population genetics, conservation biology, immunology and genetic engineering, and Rachel Gorenflo, a UHHilo undergraduate student working with Sutton in the lab of the Department of Biology.

About the video

Animal care staff at San Diego Zoo Global’s Hawaiʻi Endangered Bird Conservation Program are celebrating the first ʻalalā to be hatched in the 2016 breeding season. Later this year, hatched ʻalalā chicks will go back to their native forests on the Big Island of Hawaiʻi.

The ʻalalā, or Hawaiian crow, has been extinct in the wild since 2002, preserved only in the program run by San Diego Zoo Global at its Hawaiian bird centers.

From UH Hilo Stories

—By Susan Enright