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Endemic species: Top 9 lonely animals

By: Shea Gunther on Jan. 13, 2010, 2:34 p.m.
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Hawaiian honeycreeper

As their name suggests, honeycreepers are endemic to Hawaii. A beautiful bird with a distinct beak, the honeycreeper specializes in probing flowers for nectar, with a particular taste for the flower for which they are named. Some of the subspecies have developed beaks better suited for catching insects. Less than half of Hawaii's 51 historic species of honeycreepers still exist, having been driven to extinction by hunters, disease, habitat loss, competition from invasive species, and predation by human-introduced animals like rats, cats and dogs. Efforts are under way to protect honeycreepers by eradicating avian flu-carrying mosquitos, protecting their habitat and removing invasive species.