Kipahulu Scientific Reserve

Kipahulu Valley
Palikea Stream in the Kipahulu Valley Biological Reserve is home to several rare species of plants and birds.

NPS Photo

Kīpahulu Biological Reserve

The wet rainforests and bogs of upper Kīpahulu Valley are a key refuge for many species of native Hawaiian plants and animals disappearing elsewhere. No trails or other improvements are planned to upper Kīpahulu in order to help thwart invasive non-native species from penetrating this high valley. Entry is allowed only to resource managers and scientists conducting research or management essential to understanding and protecting this rare relict ecosystem.

lobgra small
In the upper reaches of Kipahulu Valley, an endemic Lobelia grayana ('oha wai) flowers. The flowers are engineered to fit the curved beaks of birds like the i'iwi and the nukupu'u, who sip nectar from the flowers and in turn pollinate them.

NPS Photo

It was in the high elevation zone of the valley from 5,000 to 7,350 feet that the 1967 expedition observed the endangered crested honeycreeper, Maui creeper, Maui parrotbill and the Maui nukupuʻu, this last species previously thought to be extinct. To save these critically endangered birds, it is critical that the pristine high-elevation rainforest habitat of the Valley be preserved.

Park resource managers have fenced the upper valley against goats and pigs and keep this area free of threatening ungulates.

Outplanting Machaerina angustifolia
Park resource management staff prepare to outplant Machaerina angustifolia, a native sedge, into a Kipahulu Valley bog.

NPS Photo


1967 Scientific Report for the Kipahulu Valley Expedition

This nearly 50 year old document is the scientific report of the Kipahulu Valley Expedition. Included is information on the distribution, abundance, and character of the biota of Kipahulu Valley. Click Here

Kipahulu Valley Camp
Basecamp 2, general view, showing the dense understory of ferns and the predominantly ohia forest.

Photgraph by Richard E. Warner, 1967

Last updated: February 28, 2015

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Haleakalā National Park
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Makawao, HI 96768


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