Haleakala Plant and Animals
Species that are native or Hawaii arrived here in one of three ways: in the wind, by the wings, or in the waves. In these ways, new species arrived in Hawaii every 10,000 to 100,000 years. Today, alien species arrive in Hawaii (with the help of people) at a rate of 20 per year.
The Hawaiian Island makes up les than 0.2% of the total land mass of the United States. yet 75% of the country’s recorded plant and bird extinctions are of Hawaiian species. Of the currently listed rare and endangered species in the United States, 27 are from Hawaii. Approximately 75% of the original Hawaiian forest is gone, including 90% of the dry forest and 50% of the rain forest. There are at least 1,000 native species of flowering plants. About 90% of these are endemic to the Hawaiian Islands (found only here). Of these, 10% are extinct, and 30% are threatened or endangered.
At one time in Hawaii there were 140 native bird species. Of these, 70 are now extinct. Of the remaining 70 species, 30 are endangered and 12 of these are on the brink of extinction. In Haleakala National Park, there are at least 6 endangered bird species and approximately 30-35 endangered plant species.
There are only two native Hawaiian land mammals, the Hawaiian monk seal (‘llio-holo-i-kauaua) and the hoary bat (‘Ope’ape’a). There are no native Hawaiian land reptiles or amphibians. Introduced plants and animal are the primary threat to the remaining Hawaiian species and ecosystems. Over 17,000 goats (an introduced species in Hawaii) were removed from the Park between 1958-1993 to help prevent erosion and to protect endangered plants. The Haleakala National Park has 34 miles of boundary fence to keep goats, pigs, deer and cows out.