Give Them Space
When you see these federally protected birds, keep your distance at a minimum of fifty feet. It is against the law to touch or harass nēnē. Those who are convicted of harassing, or worse, hunting, nēnē have faced fines from $4,000 – $50,000 in addition to jail time.
Keep Your Dogs Leashed
Nesting areas are usually tucked into the vegetation, but if you do happen to be taking your canine friend on a walk, be sure to keep them from sniffing too far into the bushes to keep the growing goslings safe.
Keep Your Eyes on the Road
In high nēnē-traffic areas like Hōkūala or the Kīlauea Point National Wildlife Refuge, be sure to drive with caution to avoid hitting a crossing goose. Nēnēs are fiercely protected by federal law—drivers can be fined up to $5,000 for fatally injuring a Hawaiian goose. Each bird is identifiable by a band on their foot to help keep track of species preservation efforts as well.
Do Not Feed Them
It’s essential not to offer the nēnē human food. They are excellent foragers and natural herbivores, so disrupting their diet with foods not found in their natural habitat can cause serious health risks.