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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

  • Expansion of Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument

    Red-Tailed Tropicbird 300x191

    President Obama announced the expansion of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument to become the world’s largest protected area.

    For more information
  • One Hundred and Seven!

    Harvesting seabirds and waterfowl

    The oldest refuge in the Pacific, Hawaiian Islands National Wildlife Refuge (forerunner of Hawaiian Islands Bird Reservation created on February 3, 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.

    About the Refuge
  • About the Islands and Atolls

    More than one hundred years ago, President Teddy Roosevelt set aside the reefs and islets of the Northwestern Hawaiian chain (except Midway Atoll and Kure) as the Hawaiian Islands Reservation. Later renamed the Hawaiian Islands National Wildlife Refuge, the site was established to provide legal protection for the millions of seabirds inhabiting the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands at a time in our past when seabirds were being slaughtered by the thousands for their plumage and eggs.

    Learn more
Page Photo Credits — Mark MacDonald, Robby Kohley
Last Updated: Nov 22, 2016
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