By Jonathan Howery
Hawaii Turtle Tours takes you for a tour around the island of Oahu to see some pretty amazing things. However, most people don’t know about the trouble that the islands face. The islands are home to some amazing and unique plants and animals. Yet, today it is estimated that there approximately 9/10 of these species are invasive or foreign. Leaving only a tenth of native and endemic species left on the island. This means that of this small percentage, these plans and animals are found nowhere else in the world. Plus, the majority of these species are endemic, which means that they are found only in Hawaii and nowhere else.
Due to the Hawaiian islands isolation in the middle of the pacific ocean, the surrounding ecosystems and all of its inhabitants (mainly the plants) before man’s arrival, evolved on their own. Many flora and fauna arrived to the islands by wind, water, or wings. Because they were free from many of their competitive foes or from being eaten by herbivores, they didn’t develop defence mechanisms or were afraid when the first outside visitors showed up.
Hawaii is known to conservationists as the endangered species capital and extinction capital of the entire world. Of the documented extinctions that have occurred, half of the bird species disappeared alone from the colonization by polynesians. Destruction of ecosystems, species displacement, food resource competition, and hunting decimated the native species. Since European contact in 1778 over than a hundred different species of plants have gone extinct with nearly two hundred considered to be endangered with fewer than fifty individuals out in nature. Most endangered species are grown and kept alive in arboretums and botanical gardens. So please, when visiting Hawaii, make sure not to bring any outside plants or animals that are very likely to upset our delicate ecosystem. Be respectful and Hawaii will respect you.
Enjoy your vacation here in the lovely Hawaiian Islands and if you have any questions about Hawaii Turtle Tours or about this blog, feel free to email at [email protected].