Oahu Forest National Wildlife Refuge

An elepaio

Oahu Forest National Wildlife Refuge is a 4,525-acre property on the north slopes of the Ko'olau Mountains on the island of Oahu. This is the area of the last remaining intact native forest on Oahu. The refuge was established in 2000 in an effort to protect a number of threatened and endangered plant and animal species, including several species of Oahu tree snails that occur nowhere else on Earth. The biggest threat to all threatened and endangered species in Hawaii comes from all the human-introduced nonnative plants and animals.

The ecosystem of the northern Ko'olau Range is composed of at least nine native natural communities. Oahu Forest National Wildlife Refuge displays at least four of them: rainforest communities, lowland mesic forests, freshwater streams and high-elevation cloud forest. With at least 22 endangered species living on the refuge, it's easy to understand why the property is closed to all public use.

A Maiapilo
A Maiapilo

Photos courtesy of the US Fish & Wildlife Service