- Associated Press - Monday, February 8, 2016

HONOLULU (AP) - State lawmakers are considering heightened security at Kaena Point on Oahu following the deaths of at least three Laysan albatross and the destruction of several of the birds’ nests at the nature reserve.

Two bills have been introduced in both the House and Senate that would require park visitors to pay entry fees to support additional security and educational staff at Kaena Point. Visitors would also be required to sign in upon entry, Hawaii News Now reported (http://bit.ly/1SaHIc9).

“This measure provides funds to help protect Kaena Point. It provides law enforcement to have more of a presence out there with more and better equipment,” said Democratic Sen. Will Espero of Ewa Beach.

There had been about 75 active albatross nests at the reserve before the vandalism occurred. State officials visited the site in December and found the bodies of three adult birds and determined that 15 nests had eggs that were smashed or missing.

“We had evidence that several of the birds had their feet cut off,” said Thomas Friel, chief of the department’s Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement, in December. “It was in such a way that we believe it not to be predation from a wild animal, but rather from humans.”

The vandals also allegedly took cameras and sound equipment that was used to monitor the birds.

No arrests have been made, but state and federal authorities have interviewed several people who were allegedly at the park when the birds were killed.

The Senate Water, Land and Agriculture Committee is set to hold a hearing on its version of the bill Monday. The House will likely hear the measure later this session.

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Information from: KGMB-TV, http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/

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