NWHI Ecosystems

Learn about the ecosystems and natural resources of the NWHI.

Beginning northwest of the island of Kaua`i, a delicate network of coral reefs, islands, atolls and shoals arches through the Pacific for over one thousand miles. Collectively known as the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, these prehistoric landmasses are the oldest in the Hawaiian archipelago.


Celebrated as the first first of the Hawaiian islands to emerge from the sea, these ancient islands are also known as the kupuna islands, revered ancestors.

coralThe Northwestern Hawaiian Islands contains over 3.5 million acres of some of the world's oldest living coral colonies and encompasses tremendous biodiversity.

More than 7,000 marine species have been recorded in the NWHI among them, the endangered Hawaiian monk seal, endangered and threatened sea turtles, reef fish, bottom fish, sharks, corals, anemones, jellyfish, mollusks, sea grasses, algae and over 14 million sea birds.

Over 1,700 of the species which call the Northewestern Hawaiian Islands home, are endemic to the Hawaiian Islands--are found nowhere else on earth.

monk sealThe Northwestern Hawaiian Islands is also home to 97% of Hawaiian monk seals remaining in the wild. The Hawaiian monk seal is one of the most endangered marine mammals in the world.

This remote ocean area is recognized as the last predator-dominated coral reef ecosystem on our planet.

( More coming soon! Mahalo for your patience!)

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