Wildlife & Habitat
wildlife & habitat includes:
Keālia Pond NWR hosts more than 30 species of birds and is home to the endangered ae‘o (Hawaiian stilt), ‘alae ke‘oke‘o (Hawaiian coot), and koloa (Hawaiian duck). During spring and early summer, when water level recedes, there can be more than half the statewide population of ae‘o on the refuge. The pond is the wintering grounds for a diverse assemblage of migratory birds from late summer (August) to early spring (April). It is one of the most important areas in the state for wintering migratory waterfowl. For a brochure of Keālia Pond National Wildlife Refuge birds, click here (pdf 2.45M).
The 200-acre open water pond is seasonal; flooding to 450 acres in winter months (December-March) and extending into the adjacent mudflats to low water conditions (30% water coverage) in late summer/fall (August-November). This 691-acre wetland, with shallow mudflat areas interspersed with vegetation, provides suitable nesting, feeding, and resting habitat for endangered waterbirds.
Migratory shorebirds also congregate here to take advantage of the food resources along the water's edge. As water recedes, fish are crowded into the remaining water, making them easy prey for ‘auku‘u (black-crowned night herons).
No native mammals or amphibians occur; however, endangered Hawaiian hawksbill turtles nest on the adjacent beach from May to September.