Nēnē Photo Identification for Conservation.

Did you see a banded nene and wonder who that individual is?

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. 

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 and matching individual birds to our sighting catalog based on their band numbers. We currently use a Canon R5 C and 5D IV with a 100-400 lens to capture photos of banded nene from 25-30 feet away.

Be respectful when taking photos of wildlife.

To collect photo identification data from nēnē respectfully, it is important to approach the birds carefully and to minimize any disturbance or stress they may experience. This may involve using a telephoto lens to capture photos of the nene from a distance. It is also important to follow local regulations and guidelines that may be in place for observing or photographing nēnē. 

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.