Kimberly Krusell-NPS Photo
'Ope'ape'a (Hawaiian Hoary Bat)
'Ilio holo I ka (Hawaiian Monk Seal)
Although the na kohola are the most commonly observed ocean mammals, other species may also be seen in the Hawaiian waters. From the shores, watch for a visible, uprising vapor just above the water, that is created when a whale surfaces for air and exhales through its blow hole.
Nai'a is the Hawaiian name for dolphin. The aerial acrobats of the Spinner dolphins are commonly seen across the bay from the Pu'uhonua shores. They leap out of the water and spin laterally through the air before the body and tail once again disappears into the ocean.
The mongoose was introduce from India to help reduce the rat population, which was a particular nuisance to the sugarcane industry. Unfortunately, the mongoose has become the textbook example of a failed biocontrol effort. The rat is nocturnal and the mongoose is diurnal and seldomly meet. Although the mongoose did little to change the rat population it is a major contributor to the decline of native ground nesting birds.
Mammal Species Observed in the Park
Did You Know?
Did you know that Kamehameha I died in 1819? Soon after his death, the kapu system and old religions of Hawai'i were discontinued. The sanctuary at Pu'uhonua o Hōnaunau is the only preserved refuge site that you can visit today.