National Wildlife Refuge
|Along the Middle Loch and West Loch of Pearl Harbor in
Honolulu County, HI
Phone Number: 808-637-6330
|Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
Pearl Harbor National Wildlife Refuge
The West Loch and Middle Loch of Pearl Harbor are sites of small urban refuge units. This wetland refuge is primarily devoted to the recovery of four of Hawaii's six endemic waterbirds (Hawaiian stilt, Hawaiian moorhen, Hawaiian coot, and Hawaiian duck). All four birds are listed as endangered species due to their precipitous decline in the 20th century.
This refuge is composed of two units, the 37-acre Honouliuli Unit which borders West Loch and the 25-acre Waiawa Unit bordering Middle Loch of the famous Pearl Harbor.
Honouliuli, also a fresh water wetland, is extensively managed for a variety of waterbirds including Hawaii's endangered waterbirds and migrant waterfowl. It serves as the site of the Hawai`i Nature Center's Third Grade Wetlands Education Program. During the fall semester, thousands of students learn about the recovery of Hawai`i's waterbirds and the value of wetlands.
Waiawa is composed of two ponds, one of which is primarily managed for the endangered Hawaiian stilt (ae`o). However, its estuarine environment is ideal for establishing a host of food resources for all four endangered waterbird species (Hawaiian coot (`alae ke`oke`o), moorhen (`alae `ula), and duck (koloa maoli)). Fresh water is pumped into the refuge from a nearby stream and empties into Pearl Harbor.
Areas once part of the former Barbers Point Naval Air Station have been added to the refuge to protect native plants. Known as Kalaeloa Unit ("long point"), this area of raised limestone coral reef has the last remaining ancient coastal dryland plant communities that were once widespread throughout the `Ewa plain. Native coastal plants can still flourish here, including some endangered species.
Getting There . . .
The refuge office is located on Oahu's north shore in Haleiwa at 66-590 Kamehameha Highway. Public entry into the refuge is prohibited unless authorized by the refuge manager.
Two endangered plants including the largest population of 'akoko on Oahu, and the second largest population of endangered ewa hina hina occur here among a mostly nonnative vegetation community.
Other native plants include the night blooming maiapilo with beautiful fragrant flowers, a very dense, soft, and silky looking plant, and naio, one of the few native species that is a strong competitor agains alien grasses.Learn More>>
Ancient Hawaiian fishponds bordering much of historic Pearl Harbor also support many waterbirds. These fishponds are no longer functional but still serve as waterbird habitat. Learn More>>
The refuge is closed to the public.
Management of the wetlands include maintenance of natural marsh and artificial ponds, predator control, reduction of human disturbances and a seasonally based schedule of timed impoundment drawdowns and water level pulsing. Low dikes retain shallow water impoundments on each unit. Pumps provide water for the ponds. This provides suitable habitat for nesting, feeding, and resting of native and migrant waterbirds during different times of the year. Nesting islands have also been provided.
Vegetation manipulation in the wetlands is conducted as a means of controlling noxious and exotic vegetation, primarily California grass, millet, Indian fleabane, bulrush, cattail, knotgrass, and makai. A comprehensive animal control program is conducted to reduce threats from mongoose, feral cats, and dogs. Control of these plant and animal species is required to provide secure and proper habitat for endangered waterbirds, migratory waterfowl, and shorebirds.
Vegetation manipulation within the dryland coastal unit is also key to habitat restoration. Competition by alien plant species is reduced which allows the natural spread of native plants to occur as well as successful out plantings.
Volunteers have been working to remove the nonnative community and help stabilize the natural vegetation.