Researchers have found that Hawaii amakihi are uniquely tolerant to avian disease.
Foresters also expect a loss in the continuity of research on disease tolerance, sub-population genetics and the measurable effects of rapid ohia death to the forest bird community in the reserve and surrounding area.
"Nobody knows what comes next as far as the lava goes", Snyder told The Washington Post.
There have been 9,900 earthquakes on the island since May 4 as a result of the geological activity, the USGS said, including about 500 near Kilauea's summit over the weekend, according to CNN. The area is primarily home to vacation rentals, but there are a lot of permanent residences there too.
He said: "For us it's more of a vacation area, but for those who live there permanently, they're trying to figure out where they're going to be living".
USGS helicopter footage from Monday showed lava from one fissure entering the ocean at Kapoho Bay and completely filled it, KGMB-TV reports. Kim and Okabe live in Hilo, the county's seat, which is more than an hour drive from the Kapoho area.
Pomerleau said all of the vacation homes he did handyman work for are gone.
There is a possibility that some residents could have died in the disaster, officials said.
There have been various arrests of people forcing their way through blocked areas. Police said a 55-year-old man was arrested last week after he circumvented a traffic checkpoint and crashed his vehicle into a hardened lava flow.
It said that a series of earthquakes had rattled the island for most of Monday night and into Tuesday morning, including one with a magnitude 5.5 that generated an ash plume. It's not known when the heavily visited Kilauea section of the park will reopen.