May Photo Contest

  • Hulē‘ia National Wildlife Refuge
  • Kilauea Point Lighthouse
  • Kilauea Point Lighthouse

The Friends of Kauaʻi Wildlife Refuges always post wonderful videos of their beautiful Refuges and the amazing wildlife found there. So, we are spotlighting their Refuges this month.

Map of Kaua'i

Friends of Kauaʻi Wildlife Refuges supports the environmental and wildlife conservation, historic preservation and community education programs of the Kauaʻi National Wildlife Refuge Complex and includes Kīlauea Point NWR, Hanalei NWR and Hulēʻia NWR.

The Friends help to fill in the gaps in the programs administered by the Refuge team by providing funding and Friends group staffing to support a variety of refuge priorities. Friends of Kauaʻi Wildlife Refuges also manages the Friends Nature Store and Visitor Center at Kīlauea Point NWR, supports environmental education programs, administers an annual scholarship, conducts community outreach and much more!

Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge is the oldest and largest of the three Refuges located on Kauaʻi. It was established in 1972 to recover threatened and endangered species, including the koloa (Hawaiian duck), ʻalae keʻokeʻo (Hawaiian coot), ʻalae ʻula (Hawaiian Gallinule), aeʻo (Hawaiian Stilt) and nēnē (Hawaiian Goose). The Refuge is comprises 917 acres and is located near the town of Hanalei.

The Refuge consists of managed wetlands that mimic the unique natural Hawaiian wetland systems, which provide all the necessary life history requirements for native Hawaiian and migratory waterbird species. In addition to the five threatened and endangered waterbirds for which the refuge is primarily managed to protect, 49 other species of birds also use the Refuge.

nēnē stands on a hill side

Hulē‘ia National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1973 to recover threatened and endangered species, including the koloa (Hawaiian duck), ʻalae keʻokeʻo (Hawaiian coot), ʻalae ʻula (Hawaiian Gallinule), aeʻo (Hawaiian Stilt) and nēnē (Hawaiian Goose). The Refuge is comprises 241 acres and is located near the city of Līhu‘e.

A mōlī parent sits on its recently hatched chick.

Kīlauea Point National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1985 to protect and enhance migratory seabirds and threatened and endangered species including the nēnē (Hawaiian Goose) and ʻaʻo (Newell’s Shearwater) populations and their habitats.

The Refuge is located on the northernmost point of Kaua‘i and the Main Hawaiian Islands and includes a spectacular 568-foot ocean bluff. Kīlauea Point NWR is home to thousands of migratory and resident seabirds including ʻā (Red-footed Booby), mōlī (Laysan Albatross), ʻiwa (Great Frigatebird), koaʻe kea (White-tailed Tropicbird), koaʻe ʻula (Red-tailed Tropicbird), ʻuaʻu kani (Wedge-tailed Shearwater), and ʻaʻo (Newell’s Shearwater). The Refuge is comprised 199 acres and is located near the town of Kīlauea.

The Refuge team is also charged with the preservation and maintenance of the Daniel K. Inouye Kīlauea Point Lighthouse and lighthouse keepers’ homes, which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Out of public view is a comprehensive multi-partner wildlife conservation project entitled the Nihokū Ecosystem Restoration Project. The project was developed in 2012 to provide a predator-free nesting area for ʻaʻo (Newell’s Shearwaters) and ʻuaʻu (Hawaiian Petrels), Hawaiʻi’s only two endemic seabirds, and enhance existing breeding colonies of mōlī (Laysan Albatross) and nēnē (Hawaiian Goose

We thank USFWS for the photos.

Continue ReadingMay Photo Contest

Creating a Buzz: How to Use Social Media to Build Awareness & Support for Refuges & Hatcheries Friends Groups

bee on a flower

This webinar helps your refuge and hatchery friends group leverage social media to share your story and support campaigns. We covered best practices for creating engaging content, building an online community, and amplifying your message to a wider audience. We’ll also share tips and tools for using social media to support the National Wildlife Refuge Association’s ongoing refuge staffing crisis campaign and provide a toolkit to help you get started.

Eden Taylor, Communications Manager
National Wildlife Refuge Association

Continue ReadingCreating a Buzz: How to Use Social Media to Build Awareness & Support for Refuges & Hatcheries Friends Groups

Friends Insights on Refuge/Hatchery Systems Funding Crisis

  • Post category:Advocacy
  • Reading time:2 mins read

Earlier this year the Coalition of Refuge Friends and Advocates (CORFA) with the National Wildlife Refuge Association (NWRA) hosted three-sharing sessions. The goal of the sessions was to bring Refuge and Hatchery Friends organizations together virtually to share information regarding the impacts of inadequate funding and reduced staffing. 73 Participants from across the country attended the three-sharing sessions.

Friends members shared their observations, examples, and stories about the impacts insufficient budgets are having on their refuge and hatchery partners, their organizations, and communities. The comments of the participants were compiled and general themes emerged. A white paper with the findings from the sharing-sessions is housed in CORFA Resource Center. The themes that emerged from the sharing-sessions are being used to help Friends organizations build messages to local, regional, and national representatives to make them aware of the need for adequate funding and staffing for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service programs.

On behalf of CORFA, I want to thank Sue Wilder for organizing the sharing-sessions and composing the white paper. We all want to express our appreciation to all the Friends that participated in the sessions and were so willing to share their observations and experiences.

Continue ReadingFriends Insights on Refuge/Hatchery Systems Funding Crisis

April Photo Contest Winner

Why It Matters” – April Winner!

  • People standing around an endangered plant
  • hiker on trail in a montane rain forest
  • people gathered in front of sign for Hakalau Forest
  • Volunteer at Hakalau Forest
  • Volunteers resting in Hakalau Forest
  • Magnificent tree

Ken Kupchak’s post of Hakalau Forest NWR was the April winner. Ken shared that the Refuge is “a place to hang out, contemplate, share with a “Friend” in the most special places around.” Ken is always posting interesting photos of this incredible Refuge so check the Facebook page often.

Map of Hawai'i

Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge, established in 1985, consists of 2 distinct parcels. The Hakalau Forest Unit is a 32,830-acre parcel on the windward slopes of Mauna Kea on Hawai’i Island. In 1997 the USFWS purchased 5,300 acres south of Kailua-Kona, on the slopes of Mauna Loa, which became the Kona Forest Unit. In 2019, an additional 10,000 acres were added to the Kona Unit through the purchase of McCandless Ranch lands adjacent to the original parcel, making the total acreage for the Kona Forest Unit 15,448 acres.

The higher elevation Hakalau Forest Unit contains some of the finest remaining stands of native montane rain forest in Hawai’i and habitat for 29 critically endangered species including 7 birds, 1 insect, 1 mammal and 20 plants found nowhere else in the world. Currently, it is the only place in Hawai’i where native forest bird populations are stable or increasing.

The lower elevation Kona Forest Unit is predominantly ‘ōhi‘a (Metrosideros polymorpha) trees with an understory of nonnative trees & shrubs & home to a number of endangered birds, plants & one insect. This area was home to the last wild pair of ʻalalā (Corvus hawaiiensis) in 2002. The primary purpose of this unit is to protect, conserve and manage this native forest for threatened or endangered species.

The Friends organization was established in 2006 and provides vital fundraising, volunteer and advocacy support to help make Hakalau Forest NWR one of the most significant refuges in the National Wildlife Refuge System.

The mission of the Friends of Hakalau Forest (FOHF) is to support the USFWS’s efforts at the Hakalau and Kona Forest Units in terms of preserving, protecting and restoring the biological diversity at both locations, while simultaneously providing opportunity for wildlife-dependent recreation such as birding or photography, education, cultural experiences and scientific research.

orange and grey bird

FOHF has contributed directly to the quality of habitat at Hakalau Forest NWR by such efforts as providing volunteer labor to propagate and out-plant native trees and rare plants, conducting weed control efforts and by raising funds for the construction of much needed facilities including a 10,000-gallon tank to store water for the plant nursery and a new roof for the Volunteer Cabin.

Congratulations Ken and the Friends of Hakalau Forest NWR!

Hawai’i ‘akepa photo by Ellen Schwene

Continue ReadingApril Photo Contest Winner

Why Refuges/Hatcheries Matter: Crafting your Message

  • Post category:Advocacy
  • Reading time:1 mins read
young boy looking at a snake

Friends, CORFA, and NWRA held their first of a series of webinars on April 12th on how to craft effective messages about the refuge and hatchery systems’ funding crisis. In this webinar, recently shared stories of staffing impacts were reviewed towards building messages to gain support for refuge and hatchery. The recording of this webinar and support materials are now in this website’s Resource Center, Webnars by CORFA/NWRA, Advocacy Webinars.

In the upcoming months, webinars will focus on how to develop and distribute messages using a variety of traditional templates as well as social media and visual aids to help make messaging more impactful.

Continue ReadingWhy Refuges/Hatcheries Matter: Crafting your Message