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Wildlife & Habitat

Oahu elepaio

O‘ahu Forest NWR protects some of the last remaining intact native forest left on the island of O‘ahu. At least nine natural native communities can be found within the refuge including lowland mesic forests, rainforest communities, high elevation cloud forest, and freshwater streams. Many of the native plants and animals that once thrived in these forests are either extinct or on the brink of extinction. O‘ahu Forest NWR supports at least 22 federally listed species including endangered plants, birds, pūpū kani oe, bat, and other rare native flora and fauna species.

  • Birds


    Hawai‘i's native birds are diverse and beautiful—and among the most endangered on the planet. One-third of the nation's endangered birds are in Hawai‘i. More bird species are vulnerable to extinction in the islands than anywhere else in the country. O‘ahu Forest NWR supports the ‘i‘iwi, pueo, and the endangered O‘ahu ‘elepaio.

  • Mammals

    Hawaiian hoary bat

    The ‘ōpe‘ape‘a is Hawai‘i’s only native terrestrial mammal. Males and females have a wingspan of about 1 foot, and females are typically larger than males. Both sexes have a heavy fur coat that is brown and gray, and ears tinged with white, giving it a frosted or "hoary" look. The Hawaiian name refers to a half taro leaf or canoe sail shape; these being somewhat similar to the shape of the bat.  

  • Habitat

    Naio plant

    The problem of alien species invasion in native habitats is a well-documented management problem in Hawai‘i's natural areas. Some alien plants outcompete native species for space, light, water, and nutrients, and are capable of quickly converting native ecosystems to alien dominated vegetation.

  • Snails

    Oahu tree snail

    O‘ahu tree snails were once so abundant and popular on the island, they are mentioned in Hawaiian folklore and songs, and their shells were used in lei and other ornaments. Today, only 11 of the 41 species can be found.

Last Updated: Sep 03, 2013
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