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  • opihi rotator home 218 X 116

    ‘Opihi (Limpet)

    This marine invertebrate clings to the rocks like suction cups with their muscular foot that to keep them from being torn off.

  • GR frigatebird

    ‘Iwa (Great Frigatebird Chick)

    These birds lack the ability to take off from water so they snatch prey from the ocean surface or beach using their bills.

  • White Tern chick 218 x 116

    Manu-o-Kū (White Tern chick)

    No nest is built and a single speckled egg is laid on a small depression on a branch, roof or other surface.

  • Green Sea Turtle Home Rotator 218 X 116

    Honu (Green Turtle)

    Over 90% of green turtles nesting in Hawai'i occurs at French Frigate Shoals.

  • NIFI 218 X 116

    Nihoa Finch

    These endemic finches to Nihoa build their nests in small holes in rock outcrops 100 to 800 feet above sea level.

Extraordinary Resources

E komo mai (welcome) to Hawaiian Islands National Wildlife Refuge

Brown Booby mini 60 X 100

The Hawaiian Islands National Wildlife Refuge includes some of the most remote islands and atolls on the planet extending 1,200 miles northwest of the island of O‘ahu in the Hawaiian archipelago. This refuge hosts a rich, varied, and genetically unique natural, cultural, and historic legacy of global significance and importance.

About the NWRS

National Wildlife Refuge System


The National Wildlife Refuge System, within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, manages a national network of lands and waters set aside to conserve America’s fish, wildlife, and plants.

Learn more about the NWRS  

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A Century of Conservation

  • 105 Coming Soon!

    Harvesting seabirds and waterfowl

    The oldest refuge in the Pacific, Hawaiian Islands National Wildlife Refuge (forerunner of Hawaiian Islands Bird Reservation created in 1909), represents some of the country’s earliest wildlife protection efforts. This Federal designation occurred quickly based on a turn of the century Smithsonian field report describing observations of piles of dead birds from feather harvesting activity. We e-vite you to join us as we honor her 105th birthday during March of 2014. Check back for updates.

  • After the Storm

    Tern aerial

    In December 2012, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service field station in French Frigate Shoals suffered devastating damage as tornado-like winds sheared off wall panels and windows and downed communication systems. Although the support facilities were damaged, the staff all escaped physical injury and were rescued a few days later. A crew returned to Tern Island in March 2013 to clean up debris and close the field station. Check out this blog post to learn more:

    Return to Tern Island
Page Photo Credits — Mark MacDonald, Robby Kohley
Last Updated: Dec 04, 2013
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