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Digital TV in Hawaii :starting early for conservation of birds

2008.11.19 Angie Amasawa

Japan will completely switch to digital TV by July 2011. While the United States plans for nationwide termination of analog TV by next year February 17, Hawaii decided to hasten digital TV conversion to one month earlier than other states, January 15 for the conservation of volcanic-dwelling birds.

This bird called Hawaiian petrel, is listed as endangered species. They are nocturnal, and their chirps are compared to a sound of yapping puppy. Their nesting site, the slopes of Maui's Haleakala volcano is close to the analog transmission tower; thus, the petrels have been injured by the wires and disoriented by lights, which contribute as the causes of their decline.

For Hawaiian petrel that starts nesting season in February, the old analog transmission towers will be removed one month earlier than other states. In order to minimize the disruption to the nesting birds, the new transmission towers will be located at a much lower elevation.

The accurate count of the remaining species is unknown, but biologists estimate existence of more than 1000 nests on Haleakala volcano. They hope to increase the bird population through removal of the old towers.

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Hawaii (Asia/Oceania

Angie Amasawa

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