Coronavirus (COVID-19) Notice
Although most refuge lands and outdoor spaces have remained open for the public to enjoy, we ask that you recreate responsibly.

  • Check alerts and local conditions on this website and call ahead for current information. Operations vary based on local public health conditions.
  • Consistent with CDC recommendations, all visitors (age 2 and older), who are fully vaccinated are required to wear a mask inside of federal buildings in areas of substantial or high community transmission.. All visitors who are not fully vaccinated must continue to wear masks indoors and in crowded outdoor spaces.
  • Most importantly, stay home if you feel sick and continue to watch for symptoms of COVID-19 and follow CDC guidance on how to protect yourself and others.


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    ‘Opihi (Limpet)

    This marine invertebrate clings to the rocks like suction cups with their muscular foot that to keep them from being torn off.

  • GR frigatebird

    ‘Iwa (Great Frigatebird Chick)

    These birds lack the ability to take off from water so they snatch prey from the ocean surface or beach using their bills.

    Great Frigatebird

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    Manu-o-Kū (White Tern chick)

    No nest is built and a single speckled egg is laid on a small depression on a branch, roof or other surface.

    White Tern

  • Green Sea Turtle Home Rotator 218 X 116

    Honu (Green Turtle)

    Over 90% of green turtles nesting in Hawai'i occurs at French Frigate Shoals.

    Green Turtle

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    Nihoa Finch

    These endemic finches to Nihoa build their nests in small holes in rock outcrops 100 to 800 feet above sea level.

    Nihoa Finch

A Century of Conservation

Hope Spots

“Health to the ocean means health for us,” oceanographer and explorer Sylvia Earle has said. The ocean covers almost three-quarters of Earth’s surface and contains about 97 percent of the planet’s water. The ocean is home to an almost otherworldly array of rainbow-colored fish, exotic plants, large-winged seabirds, powerful marine mammals, living corals and vital microorganisms. We are just beginning to understand how those ocean creatures are interconnected with one another and with us. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is partnering with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, state and territorial governments and others to conserve the ocean and remote islands and atolls in it. The two federal agencies cooperatively manage four marine national monuments in the Pacific Ocean and one in the Atlantic. Earle has called the marine national monuments “hope spots” for ocean health.

Hope Spots

One Hundred and Ten!

Harvesting seabirds and waterfowl

The oldest refuge in the Pacific, Hawaiian Islands National Wildlife Refuge (forerunner of Hawaiian Islands Bird Reservation created on February 3, 1909), represents some of the country’s earliest wildlife protection efforts. This Federal designation occurred quickly based on a turn of the century Smithsonian field report describing observations of piles of dead birds from feather harvesting activity.

About the Refuge
Extraordinary Resources

E komo mai (welcome) to Hawaiian Islands National Wildlife Refuge

Brown Booby mini 60 X 100

The Hawaiian Islands National Wildlife Refuge includes some of the most remote islands and atolls on the planet extending 1,200 miles northwest of the island of O‘ahu in the Hawaiian archipelago. This refuge hosts a rich, varied, and genetically unique natural, cultural, and historic legacy of global significance and importance.

About the NWRS

National Wildlife Refuge System


The National Wildlife Refuge System, within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, manages a national network of lands and waters set aside to conserve America's fish, wildlife, and plants.

Learn more about the NWRS