A National Wildlife Refuge Complex is an administrative grouping of two or more refuges, wildlife management areas, or other refuge conservation areas that are primarily managed from a central office location. Refuges are grouped into a complex structure because they occur in a similar ecological region, such as a watershed or specific habitat type, and have a related purpose and management needs. Typically, a project leader or complex manager oversees the general management of all refuges within the complex and refuge managers are responsible for operations at specific refuges. Supporting staff, composed of administrative, law enforcement, refuge manager, biological, fire, visitor services, and maintenance professionals, are centrally located and support all refuges within the complex.
Kīlauea Point NWR supports native coastal plants and nesting seabird populations as well as the endangered nēnē or Hawaiian goose. Kilauea Point NWR is also the home of the historic Daniel K. Inouye Kīlauea Point Lighthouse.
Kīlauea Point NWR is the only refuge of the three complex refuges currently open for public visitation. Hanalei and Hulē‘ia NWRs remain closed to the public at this time.
Hanalei NWR was established under the Endangered Species Act to conserve five endangered water birds that rely on the Hanalei Valley for nesting and feeding habitat: the koloa maoli (Hawaiian duck), the ‘alae ke‘oke‘o (Hawaiian coot), the ‘alae‘ula (Hawaiian moorhen), the ae‘o (Hawaiian stilt), and the nēnē (Hawaiian goose). Forty-five other species of birds (18 of which are introduced species) also utillize refuge habitat at some point throughout the year.
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 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.
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The Mōlī or Laysan albatross may spend years over the open ocean without ever touching land!