Friday, May 18, 2012

Wild at Heart: The 'I'iwi

Over the next week and a half, I will be bringing you previews of the work that will be exhibited at May 26th's "Wild at Heart: Keep Wildlife in the Wild," the endangered species benefit that Andrew Hosner and I are co-curating at Thinkspace. 20% of the proceeds of the show will go to Born Free USA to help threatened wildlife. Hope to see you there!

Caitlin Hackett "Remnants"

The ‘i'iwi or Scarlet Hawaiian Honeycreeper is a hummingbird-like relative of the finch family with a red body, black wings and a long curving pink beak evolved for drinking nectar from the distinctive flowers of Hawaiian lobelioid plants.

About 20 species of Hawaiian honeycreeper have become extinct in the recent past, and almost all of them are endangered. The ‘i'iwi is now considered to be vulnerable because it is rare on several of the Hawaiian islands and has disappeared entirely from another. Because of their specific feeding adaptations, they are vulnerable to the habitat loss that comes with real estate development. All the honeycreepers are highly susceptible to infection from introduced diseases such as avian malaria, avian influenza and fowlpox, to which they have no resistance.

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