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  • James T. Morrison R(S)

Uncovering the Rare and Endangered Species of the Big Island

The Big Island of Hawaii is a natural treasure trove, home to a wide variety of unique and rare wildlife. From the hawksbill sea turtle to the nene goose, the island is a haven for endangered species. However, many of these animals and plants are facing a race against time as their populations continue to decline. In this blog post, we will explore the rare and endangered species of the Big Island and discuss the importance of their preservation.


One of the most iconic and endangered animals found on the Big Island is the hawksbill sea turtle. These turtles are known for their striking shells and are considered a critically endangered species. They can be found in the waters surrounding the island, and are most commonly spotted in Hapuna and Kauna'oa Bay. The hawksbill sea turtle is important to the marine ecosystem as they help maintain the balance of coral reefs by eating sponges.


Another endangered species found on the Big Island is the nene goose. The nene is the state bird of Hawaii and is found only in the wild on the Big Island. The population of nene geese has been on a steady decline due to habitat loss, hunting, and predation by introduced animals. However, conservation efforts have helped to stabilize the population, and they can now be found in several wildlife preserves on the island, such as the Kawaihae Ranch and the Puu Waawaa Ranch.


The ohia lehua flower is a unique and iconic plant species found only on the Big Island. The flower is considered an important cultural symbol for native Hawaiians, and it plays a vital role in the island's ecosystem. The flowers provide food for a wide variety of native birds and insects, and the tree itself is an important source of shelter for many species. Unfortunately, the ohia lehua tree is now facing a new threat in the form of a fungus known as Rapid Ohia Death. This fungus has killed thousands of trees and threatens to wipe out the entire species.


The preservation of the Big Island's wildlife is crucial to maintaining the island's biodiversity and ecological balance. Conservation efforts such as habitat restoration, captive breeding programs, and the control of introduced species have helped to stabilize the populations of some endangered species. However, more needs to be done to ensure the survival of these and other species. The protection of the Big Island's wildlife is not only important for the animals and plants themselves but also for future generations of humans who will inherit this natural treasure.

In conclusion, the Big Island is home to a wide variety of unique and rare wildlife, including the hawksbill sea turtle, the nene goose, and the ohia lehua flower. However, many of these species are facing a race against time as their populations continue to decline. The preservation of the Big Island's wildlife is crucial to maintaining the island's biodiversity and ecological balance. We must continue to make conservation efforts and raise awareness about the importance of protecting these species for future generations.

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