Hawaii has no native land mammals. The fact that it is isolated by 2,500 miles of ocean from land meant that it was impossible for a land mammal to survive any random journey. The few mammals Hawaii has today, such as the feral pig, mongoose and rat are the result of human contact. Also missing from Hawaii are snakes. Hawaii actually has one snake, which looks more like a worm than a snake - but no other snakes are found on any of the island (and the state goes to great pains to ensure it stays that way).
What Hawaii lacks in land mammals, it more than makes up with birds, insect and ocean dwellers. With more than 200 native fish, 10,000 native insects and over 1,000 types of land snails the islands are teaming with rare and beautiful creatures.
Among the birds found in Hawaii are several species of Hawaiian Honeycreeper most of which are endangered, Hawaiian Duck or Koloa, Hawaiian Coot, and Lysan albatross. A very awe inspiring bird is Pueo, the Hawaiian Owl (Asio flammeus sandwicensis), it is an interesting owl because it is active during the day and can often be seen above the pastures of Waimea. Birds imported to Hawaii include mynas, sparrows, cardinals, and doves.
To find details about any bird listed below simply click the picture or the bird name.
Hawaii is home to exotic and colorful marine life. From the state fish, the Humuhumunukunukuapua`a (Rhinecanthus rectangulu) to the Humpback Whale (the official state marine mammal) Hawaii has diversified ocean life.
Many species, such as the various turtles that inhabit Hawaii, are protected as endangered animals and approaching them or harassing them is illegal. Some species of marine life in Hawaii are not only beautiful but can also be dangerous, such as Cone Snails, Moray Eels, Scorpion and Lion Fish, and of course sharks (though Hawaii has a low rate of shark attacks).
To find details about any creature listed below simply click the picture or the name.
Honu'ea (Hawksbill Turtle)
Kihikihi (Moorish Idol)
Kīkākapu (Raccoon Butterflyfish)
Manini (Convict Tang)
Reptiles & Amphibians & Snails
The Hawaiian Islands (and surrounding waters) are home to five species of amphibians and 28 species of reptiles - and of these only five species are indigenous.
There are two species of snakes in Hawaii... a poisonous sea snake, and a non-poisonous land snake which is so small most people think it is a worm. There are no other snakes in Hawaii (and most literature you read says there are absolutely NO snakes in Hawaii, but they overlook the tiny native snake). Hawaii strictly enforces the no-snake rule and planes are frequently inspected for snakes (especially from Guam). If snakes make it to Hawaii they would destroy the fragile ecosystem as well as endanger many native and indigenous species.
The Islands of Hawaii also was home to over 750 species of Land and Tree Snails, many of which are now extinct or endangered.
To find details about any animal listed below simply click the picture or the animal name.
There are lots of insects and arachnids in Hawaii. One of the most famous are the Hawaiian Happyface spider. One very destructive insect is the termite. There are many endemic species of moths on the Big Island, some of which are thought to be able to detect the calls of one of their biggest predator, the Hoary Bat.
To find details about any insect listed below simply click the picture or the insect name.
Cane Spider Heteropoda
Praying Mantid Tenodera
Hawaii has only two native mammals: the Hawaiian monk seal or Ilio holo kai,(Monachus schauinslandi) and the Hawaiian hoary bat, Ope'ape'a(Lasiurus cinereus semotus). While the Monk Seal is mostly found on the remote, unihabitated islands and atolls of the northwest islands, about 25 Monk Seals do live on Kaua'i and in 2005, a Monk Seal was found in a secluded bay along the Hamakua Coast of the Big Island, giving birth to her pups. The Hoary bat is nocturnal and roosts during the day in trees. The Big Island has one of the biggest populations of the bats. They are found in dry and wet areas, and from sea level to 13,000 ft. They eat moths, mosquitoes, beetles, flies, crickets, and stink bugs
Polynesion immigrants later brought pigs. Horses, goats, sheep, European pigs and cattle were brought by European settlers. Many of these animals, especially the European pig, have caused extensive problem endangering many plant and animal species.
One imported mammal that hard to miss is the "Hawaiian squirrel", theIndian Mongoose(Herpestes javanicus). Often seen running across the road, the mongoose was brought to the Hawaiian Islands in 1883 to control rats. However, it was an ill-conceived idea as rats are nocturnal and the mongoose is a daytime creature. The mongoose is credited with endangering various bird species as they eat the eggs and fledglings of ground-nesting birds.
To find details about any mammal listed below simply click the picture or the mammal name.