Friends of Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge nears its $1M donation goal

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The Friends of Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge are $85,000 away from reaching their goal for the 2022 fall Endowment Campaign. Their goal for the year was to reach $1 million in donations since the inception of the Endowment in 2015.

Located on high on the windward slopes of Mauna Kea, the Hakalau Forest unit consists of 32,830 acres of some of the finest remaining stands of native montane rain forest in Hawai‘i and habitat for 29 critically endangered species including seven birds, one insect, one mammal and 20 plants found nowhere else in the world.

The organization says a robust Endowment is essential to ensuring that there are no lapses in funding for needed management activities on the Refuge. Reliance on uncertain Federal appropriations from year-to-year will jeopardize the success of highly effective refuge management programs at Hakalau Forest NWR.

The group says habitat restoration work is expensive and laborious but must be continued until threats can be permanently eliminated. The many management needs, often occurring when least expected, have motivated the Friends group to provide a steady stream of funding to be able to be responsive when needed.


“We can ensure that our endangered birds, plants and insects have a future if we can build the resources to assist in the critical management that must be done to restore and maintain healthy habitat in the koa-ohia forests of Hakalau,” said J.B. Friday, a forester on the faculty of the University of Hawaii and president of the Friends group. “Although our long-term goal for the Endowment is $3.5 million, this year’s campaign has the potential to bring the Endowment to over $1 million in donations since 2015 when the Endowment was started. We are almost at our goal and would appreciate any help from supportive conservation-minded donors.”

The Friends of Hakalau Forest NWR have identified four key projects to support once the Endowment has reached a capacity to begin releasing funds to support vital work:

  • Feral pig control to reduce mosquito larval habitats thereby reducing the threat of avian malarian-bearing mosquitoes.
  • Forest restoration efforts in areas adjacent to and above the refuge to increase areas of high-quality forest bird habitat at higher, mosquito-free elevations. For these projects, we will work collaboratively with groups such as the Mauna Kea Watershed Alliance.
  • Removal of all larval mosquito habitat identified by early warning detection system and further development of the early warning system for malaria-carrying mosquitoes.
  • Control of rats, mongoose, and other predators to improve survival and increase reproduction of birds.

Hakalau Forest NWR was established in 1985 to conserve endangered plants and animals and the native ecosystems of which they are a part. Since establishment, the Refuge has made great strides towards protecting precious endemic forest birds and other species by fencing large areas of the refuge and removing feral ungulates, controlling invasive plant species, and restoring native koa-o‘hia forest on former ranch lands that had been virtually denuded of forest. Thousands of endemic plant species, several of them endangered, were out-planted to the understory and endangered forest birds like the ‘Akiapola‘au, ‘I‘iwi and ‘Alawi have moved into these recovering forests to once again utilize these resources critical to their survival.


Although Hakalau Forest NWR is located high on the slopes of Mauna Kea, recent climate change models predict its endangered birds will soon face the same threats of avian disease that have impacted these species at lower elevations.

If you would like to donate online, log on to:

If you wish to send a check, make the check out to “Hawaii Community Foundation: Hakalau Forest Endowment” and mail to:


Hawaii Community Foundation
827 Fort Street Mall
Honolulu, HI, 96813

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