Planning History

The Kaua'i Seabird Habitat Conservation Program (KSHCP) was initiated in 2005 in order to foster outreach and implementation of island-wide measures aimed at avoiding and minimizing the harmful impacts of outdoor lighting. Early stages of KSHCP development were focused on the following objectives:

  • Outreach to businesses and agencies about the causes of light attraction and how to protect listed seabirds
  • Monitoring of seabird take and problematic lights
  • Providing seabird awareness training for employees and corporations
  • Providing site-specific light assessments for business and agencies

Sharon Reilly of SOS releases a recovered Hawaiian petrel ca. 2005.

SOS Newell's shearwater release pen ca. 2005

Approaches to avoiding and minimizing light attraction include:

  • Install seabird friendly lighting ​​​​​​​​
  • Modifying existing lighting
  • Managing light use
  • Incorporating architectural design elements that decrease the light and glow emitted by buildings.

The KSHCP has worked with businesses and agencies all over the island to proactively address the longstanding seabird-light attraction problem. Over 70% of agencies and businesses contacted have voluntarily changed lighting management or made permanent lighting improvements in order to minimize incidental take of listed seabirds.

The next stage of the KSHCP planning process focused on developing specific mitigation strategies to best protect and enhance seabird colonies​​​​​​​ in the mountains of Kaua‘i. This has been a complicated process due to the many uncertainties about threats to the colonies, the difficulty in locating burrows in steep and heavily vegetated terrain, and the expense of the proposed conservation actions. New data generated by the Kaua‘i Endangered Seabird Recovery Project (KESRP), largely funded through a short-term HCP with the Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC)​ has greatly helped with progress.

​That's great, but what conservation actions​ will you be taking?