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Wildlife & Fish Habitat Restoration Hawaii

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Wildlife & fish are threatened by habitat loss, invasive species, and climate change.

Hawaii’s varied climate, geology, and elevation gradients have created a wide range of habitats, from rainforests and dry forests to alpine areas and volcanic landscapes. Isolated in the North Pacific Ocean, these unique habitats have given rise to many specialized plant and animal species found nowhere else in the world.

Despite it’s biodiversity, today, native vegetation occurs on less than 40% of Hawaii and the state is home to more than 30% of all federally listed endangered species in the U.S.


Wildlife and fish in the region face multiple threats.

  • Urban development can result in increased coastal erosion, habitat loss, and habitat fragmentation.
  • Invasive species can outcompete native species for resources, alter habitats, and introduce diseases.
  • Climate change driven sea level rise, increased temperatures, and altered weather patterns can damage or destroy wildlife habitats.

Restoration can help improve habitat and adapt to a changing climate.

Urban development often results in habitat loss and hardened shorelines and beach loss is often linked to seawall construction. Stabilizing shorelines and marshes using soft shoreline stabilization techniques will reduce erosion, improving habitat for fish that use shoreline areas for food and shelter. One study suggested that marshes protect shorelines from erosion better than bulkheads. A diverse ecosystem is more resilient and better able to withstand environmental changes and invasive species encroachment.

Hawaii has implemented a range of policies and initiatives to prevent erosion and promote sustainable coastal management including shoreline protection regulations that control coastal development, establishing protected areas, laws regulating potential invasive species, and climate initiatives.

Invasive species are the greatest threat to Hawaii’s biodiversity


Invasive Species Management

Invasive species often outcompete native species for essential resources such as food, water, and habitat. Hawaii’s wildlife is more susceptible than other states because of the limited habitat available on islands that can be easily degraded or destroyed by invasive species. Habitat restoration in Hawaii often begins with the removal and maintenance of invasive species.

Hawaii Project Resources:

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