Kauai Plants and Animals, 2022
FRIDAY, September 1, 2022 2:41:00 AM
Kauai is home to some unique and interesting plants and animals. Since Hawaii is one of the most isolated places in the world, there are some plants and animals that can only be found here. Kauai also contains many different biomes, from desert, to rainforest, to aquatic. This is especially amazing when you consider its small size, only 727 square miles! If you have a chance to view Kauai from the air, you will be astounded by the diversity and beauty of the island. Below is some more information on some of Kauai’s different plants and animals.
There are only two mammals that are native to Kauai, the monk seal and the Hawaiian hoary bat. Both are endangered. Currently there are 44 species of birds that are found only in Hawaii (there used to be 142, but 95 are extinct). 33 of these birds are endangered. The Kauai parrotbill is a species that is only found in Kauai, on the windward side of Haleakala. The Nene goose, Hawaii’s state bird, is another endangered species that has one of its larger populations in Kauai. Hawaii also has many unique fish, in fact, more than 20% of Hawaiian reef fish cannot be found anywhere else in the world! Although the humuhumunukunukuapua’a (Hawaii’s state fish) is native to Hawaii, it can be found in other regions as well.
Hawaii is home to more than 2,500 unique kinds of plants. The Ōhi'a tree is native Hawaii and is the first tree to grow in a new lava field, about 100 years after the flow. Its flowers, Lehua blossoms, have no petals, but are brush-like, and usually red in color, although they can also be orange, yellow, or white. Silversword are only found on Haleakala between 7,000-10,000 feet. Koa trees are the largest native trees in Hawaii. Koa wood is beautiful and one of the most expensive woods in the world, used to make furniture and other goods, and was the used to make some of the first surfboards.
Other Plants and Animals of Interest
Some additional animals that are a must see in Kauai include whales and sea turtles. Humpback whales migrate to Kauai from Alaska, arriving around the beginning of October and staying through mid-May. There are three different types of sea turtles that are native to Hawaii including the Green, Hawksbill, and Leatherback. The Green Sea Turtle is the most common. If you are lucky, you might get the chance to see these animals from the air if you decide to take a helicopter tour. Spinner dolphins, manta rays, and Molokai mountain goats have also been spotted on flights!
Some additional plants that are important to Kauai include ti leaves and taro, which are used in traditional Hawaiian foods, and orchids, plumeria, and kukui nuts, which are used in traditional lei.
Invasive species are non-native plants or animals that cause negative effects to the natural habitat. Some invasive animals on Kauai include the mongoose and the axis deer. Mongoose were brought to Hawaii in 1883 in an attempt to get rid of rats. Since rats are nocturnal and mongoose hunt during the day, this didn’t really work. Mongoose threaten the native bird population. Axis deer were brought to Kauai in 1959 for hunting. Since they have no natural predators, their large population threatens forests. Eucalyptus trees are also an invasive species. Brought to Kauai in 1870, they choke out other native plant life.
Here is what some of our guests have to share about seeing the scenery of Kauai from the air, including its beautiful rainforests, deserts, coastline and exciting wildlife!
“Our epic tour around the Island was far beyond just a breathtaking view. Our entire experience was amazing. The entire staff was phenomenal. They were very accommodating and professional in making our experience one we would want to repeat. Our pilot was very friendly, funny and reassuring to everyone. Most of all his understanding of the island was so educational. He always made every effort to make sure everyone got an angle to experience the views no matter where they were located in the helicopter. I would highly recommend Air Kauai to anyone. In fact I have used this company on two other islands and I have had the same experience every time!” - janelo434
“Don’t think about it. Just book it! Truly the best experience of our vacation. 20/10 recommend if you want to see stunning coastlines and raw untouched land.” - Kbrown70
“Incredible views of Kauai. Truly amazing way to see the beautiful island. The staff was great and our pilot Adam was fantastic. Highly recommend this tour.” - Hamilton Lee H
“Kelby our pilot was super informative and made sure everyone got a chance to take photos. The entire trip was amazing! We wanted to do it again the next day but they were sold out! Be sure to book in advance and do the doors off tour if you dare. It was greatness!” - Pathfinder458240
“Most amazing experience! Worth the splurge 100%! Our pilot was really great, he made an effort to make everyone feel safe and welcome!” - Riley U
If you are interested in seeing these sights from the air, visit our tours page or call us directly at 877.238.4942. We look forward to hearing from you!