The iiwi, a Hawaiian forest bird, is being considered for the endangered species list

A Hawaiian forest bird is being considered by federal officials for the endangered species list.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Tuesday it has initiated a year-long review period of a petition to list the iiwi (Vestiaria coccinea) as threatened. The petition was submitted by the Center for Biological Diversity and Life Net. Wildlife officials say the iiwi, known for their bright scarlet feathers, plays a crucial role as a pollinator of native plant species. 'I'iwis breed and winter mainly in wet or moderately wet forests with 'ohi'a and koa as the dominant trees. 'I'iwis spend most of their time foraging on 'ohi'a trees, feeding primarily on 'ohi'a nectar, but also catching butterflies, moths, and other insects. Mamane nectar is another major part of 'I'iwis' diets, and in some areas, the nectar of the introduced banana poka is also an important food source. Accounts of 'I'iwis from the early 1900s described a coevolutionary relationship between the birds, with their long, decurved bills, and the similarly-shaped, tubular corollas of Hawaiian lobelioids. During the past century, though, many of these lobelioids have become endangered or gone extinct, and 'I'iwis now feed mostly on 'ohi'a flowers, which have open, non-tubular corollas.

Hawaii News, January 25th, 2012
Audubon Society