About the Refuge


On the upper slopes of the northern Ko‘olau Mountains exist some of the last remaining native intact forests on O‘ahu. In December 2000, thousands of acres became part of the National Wildlife Refuge System to protect and recover endangered, threatened, and other rare wildlife, and to protect native biodiversity on the refuge.


The greatest threats to the northern Ko‘olau Mountain ecosystem are harmful nonnative plants and animals. Nonnative plants compete for space, light, water, and nutrients and nonnative birds eat food and occupy nesting areas needed by native bird species. Mosquitoes and other nonnative insects serve as vectors for lethal bird diseases such as avian malaria. Rats eat the fruit and bark of native plants; prey on birds, their eggs and nestlings; and are major predators of endangered tree snails.

O‘ahu Forest National Wildlife Refuge is home to the endangered pūpū kani oe (O‘ahu tree snails); endangered plant species; and many native birds; including the O‘ahu ‘elepaio, ‘i‘iwi, pueo, and native honeycreepers.