Center for Biological Diversity

Tell the St. Regis Princeville Resort to Stop Killing Endangered

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The endangered Hawaiian petrel and threatened Newell's shearwater are being killed by irresponsible and needlessly bright resort lighting. These imperiled seabirds are fatefully attracted to bright lights. During the fledging season, birds headed out to sea are drawn to glowing artificial lights -- they circle the lights as if in orbit until they collapse to the ground from exhaustion or strike a human-made object.

In the last three decades, tens of thousands of shearwaters and hundreds of petrels have been grounded by bright lights on Kauai. While there are multiple sources of artificial lights on the island, the St. Regis Princeville Resort is the one of the largest documented sources of downing seabirds from light attraction.

In the absence of a valid incidental take permit, the Endangered Species Act prohibits the "take" of any endangered or threatened species. "Take" includes harassing, harming, and killing, and by operating artificial lights that result in injury and death to listed species, the resort is engaged in ongoing and repeated take of these species.

To avoid further violation of the Endangered Species Act, the resort must secure an incidental take permit and implement a habitat conservation plan that minimizes take of the seabirds as much as possible. Please submit comments to the resort today urging it to take steps to protect seabirds.

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Please submit comments by April 28, 2010.

Hawaiian petrel photo (c) Matt Brady.


The federally endangered Hawaiian petrel is a well-traveled seabird with a range that spans thousands of miles across the Pacific. This large bird feeds mainly on squid and other surface species, and prefers to fly above the water in sustained winds of 20-40 kilometers per hour. However, the Hawaiian petrel always comes back to the Hawaiian Islands to breed where it lays just one precious egg per year. Like the Hawaiian petrel, the Newell's shearwater loves the deep blue sea. In fact, this federally threatened species spends most of its life at sea and can swim underwater down to 10 meters. This bird is such a proficient seafood hunter that local fisherman rely on it to tell them where to fish. However, it too must come back to the rugged mountains of Hawaii to breed.