Aloha and welcome to James Campbell National Wildlife Refuge! Part of the National Wildlife Refuge system and the O'ahu National Wildlife Refuge Complex, James Campbell is a wetland and coastal sanctuary for many threatened or endangered, native and endemic Hawaiian species.
Right-of-way access for above-ground water line - draft Compatibility Determine

James Campbell National Wildlife Refuge is requesting comments on right-of-way access for the purpose of operating, maintaining, and repairing a single two-inch above-ground water line. Public comments can be emailed to deputy refuge manager Kristina Chyn at The public comment period runs for 14 days from 11/29 - 12/13, 2023.

The draft compatibility determination can be found here.

Visit Us

Due to habitat and species sensitivity, James Campbell NWR is currently a closed refuge with restricted and limited public access. However, visitors are able to join guided bird tours during the non-breeding months of October to the end of February. Additional information can be found under the 'Tours' tab in the 'Visit Us' section of this page.

Location and Contact Information

      About Us

      James Campbell NWR is located in the Kahuku ahupua‘a of the Ko‘olauloa moku. One of the few scattered remnants of natural wetlands that still exist on O‘ahu, the Refuge was established in 1976 for the purpose of providing habitat for endangered Hawaiian waterbirds. Further expansion was authorized in 2005 for the purposes of providing additional habitat for endangered waterbirds, migratory shorebirds, waterfowl, seabirds, endangered and native plant species, endangered ‘īlio-holo-i-ka-uaua (Hawaiian monk seal), and threatened honu (Hawaiian green turtle); providing increased wildlife-dependent public uses; and assisting with flood damage reduction in the local area.

      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

      James Campbell NWR provides habitat for four endangered Hawaiian waterbirds: ae‘o, ‘alae ke‘oke‘o, ‘alae ‘ula, and koloa maoli, as well as a variety of seabirds, migratory shorebirds, and migratory waterfowl. You may also observe the native ‘auku‘u, state-protected pueo, and endangered ʻōpeʻapeʻa. At the beach, you may be able to observe the threatened honu, endangered honu ʻea, and endangered ʻīlioholoikauaua. 

      A small, round black bird with a red spot on its forehead

      The Hawaiian coot is smaller in body size than the American coot, & the bulbous frontal shield above the bill is distinctly larger than that of the American coot & is usually completely white (Shallenberger 1977; Pratt et al. 1987). From 1 to 3 percent of the total Hawaiian coot...

      A small, round black bird with a red beak and crown walking through grass. The bird is calling out.

      The Hawaiian common moorhen is recognized as a distinct subspecies, differing from other races in having a red blush on the front & sides of the tarsus (Taylor 1998). However, there are no evident plumage or measurement differences from forms in North America (Wilson and Evans 1890-1899;...

      FWS Focus
      Hawaiian stilt flying in the sky

      The Hawaiian Stilt is a slender wading bird that grows up to 16 inches in length. It has a black back and white forehead, and is white below; the female has a tinge of brown on its back. This endangered species has very long pink legs and a long black bill. The Hawaiian subspecies differs from...

      FWS Focus
      A black and brown duck with orange feet

      The Hawaiian Duck or koloa, is generally mottled brown and has a green to blue speculum (the distinctive feathers on the secondary wing feathers) with white borders. Adult males tend to have a darker head and neck feathers (sometimes green). Both sexes have orange legs and feet. Females have a...

      FWS Focus
      Hylaeus longiceps is historically known from coastal and lowland dry shrubland habitat up to 2,000 ft (610 m) in numerous locations on the islands of Maui, Lanai, Molokai, and Oahu. Perkins (1899, p. 98) noted H. longiceps was locally abundant, and probably occurred throughout much of the leeward...
      FWS Focus
      A green sea turtle swims along the bottom of the reef.

      The green sea turtle grows to a maximum size of about 4 feet and a weight of 440 pounds. It has a heart-shaped shell, small head, and single-clawed flippers. Color is variable. Hatchlings generally have a black carapace, white plastron, and white margins on the shell and limbs. The adult...

      FWS Focus
      bird flying up above with clouds

      Adult Black-footed Albatross are large seabirds though small compared with other albatross species. They are very long with narrow wings, mostly dusky brown, white at the base of their bill and under eye, and have a large bill. Juveniles are similar to adults, but usually have less white at the...

      FWS Focus
      Sesbania tomentosa, a member of the in the pea family (Fabaceae), is usually an erect to prostrate shrub and sometimes a small, erect tree. When prostrate, the branches are up to 14 m (45 ft) long. Trees are 2.5 to 6.0 m (8.2 to 20.0 ft) tall. Each compound leaf consists of 18 to 38 oblong to...
      FWS Focus
      Koʻoola ʻula, a pink flower sits amongst green leaves

      Abutilon menziesii is a shrub in the mallow family (Malvaceae) 2 to 2.5 meters (6.6 to 8.2 feet) tall with coarsely-toothed, silvery, heart-shaped leaves 2 to 8 centimeters (0.8 to 3.2 inches) long. The flowers are medium red to dark red and about 2 centimeters (0.8 inches) across. The capsules...

      FWS Focus

      Get Involved

      James Campbell NWR is recruiting bird tour guides for the 2023 – 2024 season. To find out more information, please email our Friend’s Group: