Environmental Law Program

ELP Colloquium: Susan Culliney on the Ecological Role of the ʻAlalā

On January 19, 2012, Susan Culliney kicked off our Spring 2012 semester’s colloquium series with the presentation of her thesis “The role of the critically endangered ʻAlalā (Corvus hawaiiensis) in dispersing seeds of native Hawaiian fruiting plants.”

Susan taught students about the ʻAlalā, Hawaiʻi’s largest native frugivore, and its ecological role in establishing and maintaining native Hawaiian forests. She spoke about the ʻAlalā’s unique role in the conservation of threatened and endangered plant species. In fact, it is the only native bird capable of successfully digesting and dispersing the seeds of such species. The ʻAlalā disperses the seeds high above the forest ground into the canopy. As a result, the seeds are safe from ungulate and rodent predation. Overall, Susan thoroughly captivated students with her extremely informative and entertaining presentation.

Thank you Susan! ELP looks forward to collaborating with you again in the future.