Hawaii is a striking archipelago off the coast of the US mainland. This is a state that is rich in history and culture, with a wide variety of animals that have become native to the island.
There is so much to see on the islands of Hawaii, with different things being more prevalent on certain islands.
However, if you’ve never visited Hawaii before, you may be wondering what kind of animals live here.
This is why we’ve put together a list of 11 exciting animals that live in Hawaii!
We’ve covered a range of animals that are both native to Hawaii, as well as animals that have been introduced to the islands over the years and become more prevalent in the surrounding areas.
So let’s take a look at which animals you can expect to see in Hawaii!
One of the most popular animals that you’re likely familiar with is of course the Hawaiian goose.
Also known as the nene goose, this particular bird boasts being the state bird of the islands of Hawaii.
It is found exclusively on the islands of Hawai’i, Moloka’i, O’ahu, Maui, and Kaua’i. Their numbers were greatly reduced thanks to hunting, but the population is starting to bounce back since near extinction in the 20th century.
Hawaiian Monk Seal
The Hawaiian monk seal is an incredibly rare species that can only be found in the waters around the islands of Hawaii.
This seal is one of only two mammals that are native to Hawaii, and can be tricky to find because of how rare they are.
In fact, there are only two remaining species of monk seals around the world, including the Hawaiian monk seal.
Hawaiian Spinner Dolphin
Not to be confused with the more popular bottlenose dolphin, the Hawaiian spinner dolphin can be found along the coastal waters of Hawaii.
The Hawaiian spinner dolphin is naturally friendlier than its better known counterpart, and thrives in its natural habitat along this coastal region.
The Hawaiian spinner dolphin tends to swim in the waters between all of the islands of Hawaii, however, they are particularly noticeable near the island of Hawai’i both near Kona and Kahena.
Hawaiian Hoary Bat
The Hawaiian hoary bat is a fascinating animal that is only the second type of mammal that can be found on some of the islands of Hawaii.
It was first thought that the Hawaiian hoary bat was the same type of bat as the standard hoary bat, but on closer inspection this was found not to be the case.
This is a very rare animal that is only found on the islands of Haua’i and Hawai’i.
One of the species that was introduced to the islands of Hawaii during the 17th century was the axis deer.
This was originally given to the then King of Hawaii, King Kamehameha V, who then released them on the island of Moloka’i.
These were then introduced to the islands of O’ahu, Lana’i, and Maui throughout history. The only island where you won’t find them is Hawai’i, and the original population has now become extinct on the island of O’ahu.
Another fantastic animal to spot in the waters off the coast of Hawaii is of course the humpback whale.
This interesting mammal can often be found during the months between November and April, when the humpback whale migrates to the waters of Hawaii for their breeding season.
The mongoose is another invasive species that was introduced to the islands of Hawaii.
This was originally during the early 17th century in order to combat the rampant rat population which was running the local sugar plantations.
However, the mongoose has had a negative impact on several of the island’s native species, including the Hawaiian goose, Hawaiian crow, and several types of endangered turtles.
If someone were to ask you which animals you expected to see on the islands of Hawaii, we doubt you’d say the wallaby!
However, thanks to some enterprising wallabies that escaped the Hawaiian zoo back in the early 20th century, there is now a population of feral wallabies on the island of O’ahu.
Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle
Also known by the term honu with locals, the Hawaiian green sea turtle is one of the many rare and endangered turtle species that can be found around the islands of Hawaii.
If you’re keen to set your eyes on the Hawaiian green sea turtle, then it will be worth paying a visit to Laniakea beach or the North Shore.
However, avoid touching them if they come near you, as you could be fined as much as $2,000 for interacting with this endangered species.
Hawksbill Sea Turtle
The hawksbill sea turtle gets itrs name from the pointed, narrow beak that is synonymous with this breed of turtle.
This is another endangered species which can be found along the beaches and coastal waters of Hawaii. They are noticeable by the remarkable tortoishell pattern along the backs of their carapace.
Another invasive species to the islands of Hawaii is the chameleon! This is classed as an invasive species to the islands because of their impact on the local ecosystems.
Chameleons prey on lots of native insects, plants, and in some cases, birds. These fascinating reptiles were first introduced to the islands of Hawaii in the 70s, and can be found on the islands of Maui, O’ahu, Kaua’i, and Hawai’i.
So there you have it! You now know that there are at least 11 exciting animals that you can expect to see if you were to pay Hawaii a visit.
How many of these fascinating creatures do you think you’ll be able to spot on land or in the ocean waters of Hawaii? Which ones are you most excited to see in person?
No matter what animal you’re most excited to see in Hawaii, you’ll now know just where to look for them!