Kilauea Beach Getaways

beach getaways

Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge's rocky cliffs have been a premier seabird nesting area for thousands of years, providing protected coastal nesting and roosting habitat for seven species of native Hawaiian seabirds.

Kilauea is probably one of the most important seabird nesting sites in the main inhabited Hawaiian islands. Doves, cardinals, sparrows and other introduced bird species are also common on the refuge. Some introduced birds, such as cattle egrets, mynahs and feral chickens, impact native birds on the refuge by spreading disease, pecking seabird eggs, and competing for nesting habitat.

Reintroduction efforts for the endangered nene goose were begun on the refuge in 1991 as part of a statewide recovery program. Regular predator control efforts and a buried fence line around the perimeter of the refuge are necessary to protect breeding seabirds and nene. Native plant restoration efforts have been ongoing since the refuge was established in 1985. Habitat management efforts also include opening up and maintaining nesting areas for the recently colonizing Laysan albatross and improving feeding habitat for nene.

Built in 1913 as a navigational aid for commercial shipping between Hawaii and Asia, Kilauea Lighthouse, within the wildlife refuge, stands as a monument to Hawaii's colorful past. For 62 years, it guided ships and boats safely along Kauai's rugged north shore. In 1976, the Coast Guard deactivated the lighthouse and replaced it with an automatic beacon. In 1979, the lighthouse was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The refuge receives heavy public visitation, about 300,000 people per year. The site provides important environmental education opportunities for students. It offers breathtaking views and hikes overlooking the Pacific, and it is one of the most popular spots for visitors and residents of Hawaii alike. Migratory birds such as the Pacific golden plover, seabirds such as the Laysan albatross, and Hawaii State Bird (the nene) are some of the wildlife that use this refuge. Humpback whales, Hawaiian
monk seals, and spinner dolphins can also be observed here. Volunteers give daily tours and are readily available to answer any questions.