Nēnē Photo Identification for Conservation.

Did you see a banded nene?

Be respectful when taking photos of Nēnē.

Collecting photo-identification data from banded nēnē is a non-invasive and respectful way to research this species. This method involves taking photos of the nēnē from a distance making sure to capture clear photos of the bands on their legs. This may involve using a telephoto lens to capture photos of the nene from a distance or using binoculars and writing down the band numbers separately. Nēnē are protected by State and Federal law so it is vital that you do not closely approach and disturb them. We recommend following local rules and regulations when photographing nēnē which includes staying at least 60 feet away in National Parks.

Hawaiʻi Endangered Species RuleIt is illegal to harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect nene, or to attempt to engage in any such conduct. 

Migratory Bird Treaty ActUnder Section 703, nēnē are protected from harassment, which is defined as an intentional or negligent act or omission that significantly disrupts the normal behavioral patterns of the bird, including breeding, feeding, or sheltering, and creates a likelihood of injury or harm.

What we can learn from these bands?

Nēnē in Hawaiʻi can have two types of leg bands: A small metal United States Geological Survey (USGS) band and a larger Darvic (AUX) band with unique 2-3 alphanumeric code and band/text color combinations. From a photo of a banded nene we can tell you where and when that nēnē was banded and if anyone else has reported that nēnē to us. Our current survey protocol is to photograph both bands to verify that the AUX band matches the USGS band. 

Original images that have not been edited or altered work best for our machine-learning models. We will not publicly post or share any submitted images without consent from the copyright holder. 

If you have a large library of photos to send you can do so by using Hightail.