Wildlife & Habitat

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Worldwide, human expansion and development has caused dramatic declines in native plants and animals. The National Wildlife Refuge system was established in 1903 to protect, restore, and conserve wildlife populations and their habitats. National Wildlife Refuges currently hold the largest acreage of public lands and waters set aside for fish, wildlife, and plants in the world – with more than 150 million acres and at least one refuge in every state.

  • Birds

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    Each year, thousands of migratory seabirds use Kīlauea Point National Wildlife Refuge for nesting, foraging, or resting. Those birds include Laysan albatross, red-footed boobies, brown boobies, red-tailed and white-tailed tropicbirds, great frigatebirds, wedge-tailed shearwaters, and Pacific golden plovers. A small population of endangered Hawaiian Goose (nēnē) were reintroduced to the Refuge in the 1990s and have thrived. In fact, the Hawaiian Goose population has done so well statewide that the species was delisted from Endangered to Threatened status in 2019

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  • Marine Life

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    Kīlauea Point is 200 feet above sea level and although there is no beach access, spinner dolphins, humpback whales, Hawaiian monk seals, and green seaturtles can all be spotted in the waters or on the beach below.

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  • Flora

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    Native Hawaiian coastal plants like naupaka kahakai and ‘akoko have been restored on the refuge. In addition, an endangered plant restoration program is giving species, like the rare alula, a chance to survive.

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