July 16th, 2014 by

By Caroline Brooks, Communications Intern

This October, American Forests and its partners will lead a group of our members in a unique Hawaiian experience, offering them exclusive insight into the magnificence of the Big Island. Our group will not only witness some of Hawaiʻi’s gorgeous landscapes, wildlife, and plant life, but we will also come to understand the dangers facing these local treasures.

On Day 2 of our adventure, trip-goers will visit Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park to observe the volcanoes and rainforests that make the area unique. We will hike along the Thurston Lava Tube and the Kilauea Iki Trail. Park rangers will inform the group of plans to reforest the park with native species.

The Hawksbill Turtle, known to Hawaiians as Honu ‘Ea, is one of the Island’s endangered species that the Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park plans to recover in full. Photo: Legis/Wikimedia Commons

The Hawksbill Turtle, known to Hawaiians as Honu ‘Ea, is one of the state’s endangered species that the Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park plans to recover in full.
Photo: Legis/Wikimedia Commons

Before we understand Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park’s solutions, we must first comprehend its problems. Within the park boundaries, numerous indigenous species are protected. But beyond, habitat destruction, disease, and non-native plants and animals have endangered these species’ survival over the last two centuries.

Like the Hawaiian wildlife, the native vegetation that grows in the park is threatened too. Invasive plants and animals that have been introduced into the island’s ecosystem over hundreds of years have impacted the livelihood of the native plant species.

The park is ardent about its duty of restoring ecosystems and protecting natural resources. Park staff hopes to drive out the foreign species of plants and animals that threaten the survival of this vital ecosystem, while restoring it to its natural state through reforestation. Additionally, Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park aspires to recover several endangered wildlife species. Once all of these changes have been implemented, the National Park Service will regularly monitor animal populations to ensure their permanence.

Come along with us this October to experience the endangered flora and fauna that Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park serves. Special rates for the trip are available through July 18. We can’t wait to see you on the Island!


Read about some of the plants and animals that we will encounter on Hawaiʻi Wild:

  • Hawaiʻi Wild Part One: A young state with an ancient history — American Forests’ upcoming Forestscape adventure will introduce guests to the diverse species that once lived in abundance under the Island’s spacious skies as well as to the valiant efforts to protect them from invasive, destructive forces. 
  • Hawaiʻi Wild Part Two: Something to crow about in Hawaiʻi — The Hawaiian crow is one of the state’s most critically endangered species; however, a San Diego Zoo program solemnly strives to reform this status.
  • Hawaiʻi Wild Part Three: King koa — A dwindling koa tree population has compelled various reforestation groups to action.