Aloha and welcome to Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge! Part of the National Wildlife Refuge systems, Hakalau is a sanctuary for many species that are native and endemic to the Hawaiian Islands.
NOTICE: Draft EA for Station Master Plan available for comment

Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge is requesting comments on the draft environmental assessment (EA) to adopt the 2021 Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge Station Master Plan (SMP). The SMP proposes facility and infrastructure improvements, replacements, and additions that enhance implementation of the refuge’s Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP), adopted in 2010. Public comments can be emailed to  You can also mail comments to:  Refuge Manager, 60 Nowelo Street, Suite 100 Hilo, Hawaii 96720.  This draft EA is available for a 30-day public comment period from December 8, 2023 to Jan 6, 2024.

The draft Environmental Assessment can be found here

Visit Us

Hakalau Forest (NWR) is currently closed to self-guided activities because of concerns about a disease called Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death, which has killed thousands of acres of mature ʻōhiʻa trees in forests and residential areas in Puna and Hilo Districts of Hawaiʻi Island.  The disease can be transported on contaminated soil found on vehicles, tools, shoes and clothing. Protocols are being developed to ensure that visitors to the Refuge will not spread the disease.  For more information and updates on Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death research please visit:

Location and Contact Information

      About Us

      Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1985 to protect and manage endangered Hawaiian forest birds and their rain forest habitat. Located on the windward slope of Mauna Kea, Island of Hawai‘i, the 32,733-acre Hakalau Forest Unit supports a diversity of native birds and plants equaled by only one or two other areas in the State of Hawai‘i.

      What We Do

      The National Wildlife Refuge System is a series of lands and waters owned and managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Wildlife conservation is at the heart of the refuge system. It drives everything we do from the purpose a refuge is established, to the recreational activities offered there, to the resource management tools we use. Selecting the right tools helps us ensure the survival of local plants and animals and helps fulfill the purpose of the refuge.

      Our Species

      The Hakalau Forest Unit was established in 1985 to protect and manage endangered forest birds like the Hawaiʻi ʻākepa, ʻakiapōlāʻau, and ʻiʻiwi, and their rainforest habitat. Located on the windward slope of Mauna Kea, Island of Hawai‘i, the 32,733 acre unit supports a diversity of native birds and plants. The Kona Forest Unit was set aside in 1997 to protect native forest birds and the ‘alalā. Located on the leeward slope of Mauna Loa, the 5,300 acre unit supports diverse native bird and plant species as well as the rare lava tube and lava tube skylight habitats. 

      Get Involved

      The Friends of Hakalau Forest can help to continue and even expand programs at the Refuge but your help is needed. The support from more members is crucial to ensure the sustainability of our goals. Friends of Hakalau Forest has already begun plans for two interpretive areas on the refuge, and has received donations for the greenhouse and nēnē projects. Help is needed to keep the forest growing and the birds thriving. Please consider joining as a member and lending your support to this magnificent place.