Nature & Science
Nature and Science Overview
Well-known for its volcanic significance, Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park is also one of the most fascinating biologic landscapes in the world. Located more than 2,000 miles from the nearest continental land mass, the Hawaiian Archipelago is the most geographically isolated group of islands on Earth. The Park sits on the southeastern edge of the youngest and largest island at a latitude of 19°N. Stretching from the summit of Mauna Loa at 13,677 feet to sea level, the Park protects a wide diversity of ecosystems and habitat for numerous native Hawaiian species such as carnivorous caterpillars, happy face spiders and colorful Hawaiian honeycreepers.
1. Remove alien invasive species with the primary focus on highly disruptive weeds and introduced ungulates such as sheep, goats, and pigs.
2. Restore highly altered Park ecosystems to conditions as natural as practical through extensive plantings of seedlings.
3. Restore lost biodiversity in Park ecosystems by recovering endangered, threatened, and rare species and reintroducing locally extirpated species.
4. Develop a systematic, science-based program of inventory and monitoring to better understand ecosystem populations, communities, threats, stresses, and health.
5. Maintain and expand Park partnerships with neighbors for natural and cultural resource protection to target invasive species threatening parklands.
6. Focus on recovery for four endangered species; the nene, Hawaiian petrel, hawksbill turtle and Mauna Loa silversword as flagship programs for the Park with continued monitoring of all rare and threatened plant and animal species.
Learn more about Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park’s natural resource management programs and their resources by visiting the web links on this page.
Did You Know?
During the 1800's, vast quantities of fragrant sandalwood were the first major export of the Hawaiian Islands. The trade nearly caused the extinction of `iliahi or sandalwood (Santalum paniculatum).