U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


Date of this Version

September 2007


Published in Human–Wildlife Conflicts 1(2):235–243, Fall 2007.


Over the last 20 years, Hawaii’s agriculture has shifted from a focus on sugar cane (Saccharum officinarum) and pineapples (Ananas comosus) produced on large farms to a diverse array of products produced on a multitude of smaller farms. This dramatic shift in production, in addition to the introduction of many new avian species, has resulted in a concomitant change in the problems faced by agriculture. We surveyed farmers to determine the extent of bird damage to crops, the species responsible, the crops most vulnerable, and control methods employed. Bird problems varied by island, but cardinals (Cardinalis cardinalis, Paroaria coronata, and P. capitata) and pheasants (Phasianus colchicus and Lophura leucomelanos) were significant problems on all islands. Seed corn (Zea mays), fruit, vegetables, rice (Oryza sativa), and orchids (Orchidaceae) all sustained notable damage to their crops by birds, and growers expressed much interest in gaining information on control measures. Most farmers incurred little damage, while a few reported losing 80 to 100% of their crops at certain times of the year. We recommend a multidimensional approach to control invasive bird species, including habitat alterations, scare tactics, cessation of game bird releases, prevention of the spread of known pests among islands, and the development of chemical repellents for use when other methods are not sufficient.