About the Refuge


Located on the southeast side of Kaua‘i, Hulē‘ia National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) lies adjacent to the famous Menehune Fish Pond, a registered National Register of Historic Places.

The Hulē‘ia NWR is approximately 241 acres and was purchased from the Grove Farm Corporation in 1973 to provide open, productive wetlands for five endangered Hawaiian waterbirds that rely on the Hulē‘ia River Valley for nesting and feeding habitat.

The Refuge is located in a relatively flat valley along the Hulē‘ia River bordered by a steep wooded hillside. This land was used for wetland agriculture including taro and rice but is managed today as a refuge for wildlife.

Thirty-one species of birds, including endangered ae‘o (Hawaiian stilt), ‘alae ke‘oke‘o (Hawaiian coot), ‘alae‘ula (Hawaiian moorhen), nēnē (Hawaiian goose), and koloa maoli (Hawaiian duck) can be found here. Twenty-six other species of birds (18 of which are introduced species) also use the Refuge.

In order to protect the endangered species that live in Hulē‘ia National Wildlife Refuge, it is closed to the public but can be viewed at an overlook maintained by the State of Hawai‘i at the historic Menehune Fish Pond.