On Oahu: 23 New Endangered Hawaii Species To Be Added to List

Although it isn’t surprising to hear the news–after all, Hawaii’s native species have always been at risk to new species introduced to the islands–the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that 23 Oahu species will hopefully be added to the endangered species list.There are 437 threatened and endangered species in Hawaii. The plan to add nearly two dozen new species to the list under the Endangered Species Act would boost the total to 460, according to the Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Service Office located in Hawaii. Currently, protected endangered species habitats are located in Oahu’s Koolau and Waianae mountain ranges, far away from hidden hiking trails and popular waterfalls.

Hawaii has the most endangered species of all U.S. States

In comparison to the rest of the country, Hawaii’s roster of endangered species is the highest. California, Florida, and Alabama all have triple digit lists, the rest of the American states have double or single digits in endangered species. In truth, Hawaii is lucky to host such unique, beautiful creatures, plants and insects. That’s right, plants! Some of the plant species on the proposed list are considered the “rarest of the rare”. In other words, they need the utmost immediate attention from the federal Plant Extinction Protection Program. Four of those extremely rare Hawaiian plants are:
  • Cyanea purpurellifolia
  • Cyrtandra gracilis
  • Cyrtandra waiolani
  • Tetraplasandra lydgate

Hawaiian Damselflies in Distress

Other endangered species include Hawaiian damselflies, which are being threatened by development on the islands. Agricultural development and urban construction can diminish natural resources and alter waterways in Hawaii’s rain forests. Damselflies are a perfect example, as they need streams to hatch and grow in, especially near waterfalls and moist, mossy locales. From there, they migrate to nearby forests, but with new development affects both streams and forests, the damselflies face huge risks to their habitats. For more information, visit the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services Endangered Species homepage.

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