GREEN
09/18/2013 10:44 pm ET | Updated Dec 01, 2015

Hawaii Is 'The Endangered Species Capital Of The World'

Hawaii makes up less than 0.2% of U.S. land, but over 25% of species found on the nation's endangered species list are endemic to Hawaii, earning it the rather unflattering title of “endangered species capital of the world.”

Preserving native forests is critical for supporting these species, but unfortunately invasive species are a major threat in Hawaii. As Josh Serrano explains on the blog Unreal Hawaii, “Not all plants brought by humans are invasive, but the invasive plants tend to grow fast, mature fast, and produce many seeds which allow them to invade native forests over a short period of time.”

“Native forests provide erosion control,” Serrano explains. They also provide, “habitat for native species, cultural resources, clean air, and water.” In other words, preserving native forests and protecting endemic species should be a priority. Read more about Hawaii’s native environment and learn about the Koke‘e Resource Conservation Program (KRCP).

The below five endangered species can only be found in Hawaii:

Oahu Tree Snails
oahu tree snails

Hawaiian Hoary Bat
hawaiian hoary bat

Hibiscus waimeae
hibiscus waimeae

The Nene or Hawaiian goose
hawaiian goose

Mauna Kea Silversword
hawaii silversword

CORRECTION: A number of Hawaiian species, including the "happy face spider" and carnivorous caterpillar, were initially identified in this article as endangered but in fact are not on any such lists. Those examples have been replaced with other endemic and endangered Hawaiian species.

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