Transporting a bird for the captive breeding program
Kiwikiu in captivity at the Maui Bird Conservation Center.
The recovery plan for Kiwikiu includes the establishment of a second population on the leeward (or south) side of east Maui, and captive propagation is expected to play a role in this effort. The Hawaii Endangered Bird Conservation Program (HEBCP) of the San Diego Zoo's Institute for Conservation Research has made notable progress breeding Hawaiian passerines in captivity.
Since the captive breeding program's inception in 1993, 21 Kiwikiu eggs have been successfully incubated and hatched, and 18 have been reared to independence (updated 28 October 2013). Second generation Kiwikiu have bred in captivity as well.
Currently, infertility caused by pair incompatibility and lack of synchrony in reproductive readiness between paired male and female Kiwikiu appears to be slowing production. In recent years, more work has been done to increase pair bonding to create more viable eggs.