Our world is full of some truly amazing places, and one of the most noteworthy is the islands of Hawaii. This rich and wonderful land is home to diverse and exciting wildlife.
At A Glance
- The Hawaiian Monk Seal is native to Hawaii and is the state mammal
- The Hawaiian hoary bat is the only native land mammal in Hawaii
- The native nene is a descendent of the Canadian goose
- The Hawksbill Sea Turtle calls Hawaii home
- Hawaii is full of humpback whales and other watery wildlife
Here are five fascinating facts about nature in Hawaii.
#1. Hawaii Is Home To The Hawaiian Monk Seal
When you think of Hawaii, you imagine lush greens and beautiful blue waters. But that's not all that Hawaii is known for.
These islands are full of culture and amazing wildlife that have thrived there for many years. Even to this day, this place is rich in history and life, making it one of the world's most desirable locations to visit.
How Hawaii Was Discovered
Roughly 1,500 years ago, some canoes landed on the islands now known as Hawaii. After rowing from the Marquesas Islands, these first inhabitants of Hawaii brought culture and traditions to their new home that would live on for generations.
From surfing to hula dancing, the Polynesians who arrived on the islands of Hawaii only used the stars to guide their travels.
Then, in 1810, Kamehameha I united Hawaii and became the first king of the islands. In 1898, Hawaii became a United States territory through the Newlands Resolution and was named the 50th state in 1959.
The State Mammal Of Hawaii
Hawaii has become known as the Aloha State and is a part of the USA. "Aloha" means both hello and goodbye for Hawaiians. And the state mammal of these islands came to be the Hawaiian Monk Seal, a 400 to 600-pound seal that can grow up to eight feet long.
As one of the only two mammals native to the islands of Hawaii, the Hawaiian Monk Seal almost went extinct in the 1990s. Luckily, since then, their population has regrouped and bounced back.
Unfortunately, the Hawaiian Monk Seal is only one of two species of monk seals left in the world. In 1967, the Caribbean Monk Seal was announced as an endangered species and later declared extinct in 2008. The Mediterranean Monk Seal is still around, though now considered one of the most endangered marine mammals. There are less than 600 Mediterranean Monk Seals currently surviving.
Tourists to Hawaii often look for the iconic Hawaiian Monk Seals during wildlife tours. If you're planning a trip to Hawaii, you might be lucky enough to see one of these fascinating and beautiful creatures!
(And maybe you can visit our Maniology nail designs in person too!)
#2. Hawaii Only Has One Native Land Mammal
The Hawaiian islands are home to countless native birds and plenty of plant and animal species. But for all the wildlife that calls these gorgeous islands home, only one land mammal is native to Hawaii.
The Hawaiian hoary bat is the only extant and native terrestrial mammal in the state of Hawaii and is primarily distributed along the major volcanic islands. The mainland hoary bat is typically found throughout North America, but the Hawaiian hoary bat is only found on these glistening islands.
In 2015, this bat was named the state land mammal of Hawaii. They are distinguished by a silver tint on the brown fur on their back, with more silver bands along their neck.
However, the Hawaiian hoary bat has been listed as endangered due to population decline. There is also a lack of knowledge about the information on the bat, including distribution and habitat needs.
#3. Nene, Descended Of The Canadian Goose
Since we're talking about Hawaii's state mammals, it would make sense to talk about the state bird of the Hawaiian Islands. The nene is the state bird found only on the Hawaiian islands of Maui, Molokai, Hawaiʻi, Oahu, and Kauaʻi.
Its name "nene" comes from its soft, gentle call that has been likened to a cow's "moo." Its favorite food is the ohelo berry that grows on lava, similar to a cranberry.
Otherwise known as the Hawaiian Goose, the nene is a long-lost descendent of the iconic Canadian Goose, which was believed to have migrated to Hawaii over 500,000 years ago. Though somewhat similar, they have developed plenty of differences, including padded toes, less webbing on their feet, and they are better equipped to walk on rugged lava rocks.
From Popular To Rare
Though geese are pretty common, the nene is actually the rarest goose in the world. When Captain James Cook came to Hawaii in 1778, his team noted the nene was quite popular. But due to hunting and the presence of predators like pigs and mongooses, the population of the nene was reduced to only 30 birds in 1952.
After being on the edge of extinction, the nene was bred and re-introduced to the wild, and now the population has risen to 2,500 nenes. It is still an endangered species.
How To Support Hawaii's Wildlife Right At Home
Hawaii is teeming with animals, plants, and birds that make it up its unique ecosystem. However, there are more endangered species in Hawaii than in most other places in the world.
And we need to change that.
It's essential to find a cause that you resonate with. And at Maniology, we created our Stamp for a Cause campaign for that very reason.
Whenever you purchase our Hawaii Wildlife Fund nail stamping plate, we donate 5% of the purchase price to the Hawaii Wildlife Fund. This organization has made it its mission to prevent and stop the threats to Hawaii's ecosystem.
We create our products so that you can experience authentic self-expression and creativity through nail art in the comfort of your own home. But we also want to do so while helping the world around us.
Plus, the designs of this nail stamping plate make it so you can show your support for Hawaii's wildlife every day with ease. Pair it with our Hawaii's Finest 3-piece metallic stamping art polish set for a look you'll love.
#4. Home Of The Hawksbill Sea Turtle
We didn't forget that Hawaii is surrounded by water. There are plenty of species that live in the Pacific Ocean around Hawaii, and there are almost too many to count!
Most notably, the Hawaiian islands are home to the Hawksbill Sea Turtles. These unique sea turtles choose to change their location with the ocean and enjoy feeding on sea sponges. They're usually found in coral reefs around the world.
Unfortunately, these turtles have become a critically endangered species, as they have been targeted due to their decorative and beautiful shells. As a result, they are threatened by illegal wildlife trade and even are vulnerable to getting entangled in gillnets or accidentally captured by fishers.
These turtles are necessary to maintain the health of the reefs around them as they help remove prey from the surface of the reefs. Plus, they carry significant cultural power with them that can't go unnoticed.
#5. Hawaii Is Full Of Whales And Dolphins
When you think of a tropical location full of stunning beaches and rich ecosystems, it's natural to assume plenty of watery wildlife will be there. And for Hawaii, that's more than true.
Every year, whales migrate from Alaska to Hawaii in the winter to enjoy the warm waters. Plus, humpback whales mate in Hawaii's ocean each year, and the females then give birth to their offspring the next year.
There are more than humpback whales in Hawaii, however. There are also minke whales, the fin whale, North Pacific right whales, and Bryde's blue whale. And there's more than just whales!
Plenty of dolphins find refuge in Hawaii's sea waters, with spinner dolphins being one of the most common species to call it home. Spinner dolphins are somewhat smaller and are a unique color of gray.
However, think again if you're considering going to Hawaii to swim with the dolphins. Many warn against swimming with spinner dolphins, as it can disrupt their behavior and cause undue harm.
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