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Protected Species

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Protected Species and General Conservation

Hawaiʻi is home to an amazing diversity of fish and wildlife, many of which can be found nowhere else. Unfortunately, Hawaiʻi has also been dubbed the “endangered species capital of the world.” The introduction of alien species and diseases has devastated native animals and many plants they depend on. The Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office lists more than 400 threatened and endangered species across the state. A few that you may encounter while in Hawaiʻi, that are protected by the Federal Endangered Species Act, include:

Help Protect

Please help us protect our beloved wildlife and keep your distance from these precious creatures. Pursuing and feeding marine mammals is prohibited by Federal Law. Do not attempt to touch, ride, or feed turtles or marine mammals. Limit your time observing an animal to ½ hour. Do not encircle or trap between boats or shore. If approached by a marine mammal while you are on a boat, put the engine in neutral and allow the animal to pass. Failure to comply with protections afforded endangered species can result in fines.

How to Report Violations or Injuries:

To report stranded or entangled marine mammals, please call 1-888-256-9840. 

Please call the NOAA Fisheries Enforcement Hotline at 1-800-853-1964 (24 hours/day, 7 days/week) to make a report.

Report any violations of wildlife to the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Enforcement HOTLINE at 808-643-DLNR.

Report injured native birds to the Hawaiʻi Wildlife Center at 808-884-5000 or [email protected] (send a photo to help identify the bird).

Endangered Species List:

The most common endangered species you might encounter while on the Hawaiian Islands and that are protected by the Federal Endangered Species Act, include: 

Hawaiian Monk Seal (ilioholoikauaua)  
Turtles - Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles (honu), Hawksbill (ʻeā)
Spinner Dolphins (naiʻa)
Humpback Whale (koholā)
Hawaiian Goose (nēnē)

The Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office reports the following list of endangered species...



Dolphin SMART Program:

Dolphin SMART is a partnership program developed by NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries and National Marine Fisheries Service, the Whale and Dolphin Conservation, and the Dolphin Ecology Project. By choosing to follow Dolphin SMART criteria, businesses demonstrate their support for dolphin conservation. The next time you choose a dolphin tour, do your part and book Dolphin SMART businesses. Look for businesses with Dolphin SMART flags and decals displaying the current year.

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