Reasons WHY Hawaii Species are EndangeredHawaii is the endangered species capital of our world because of two main reasons: isolation and foreign invaders. Hawaii is the most isolated groups of islands in the world! It is 2,400 miles to the nearest continent and the nearest group of atolls or low island are 850 miles away. Over the years, before the Europeans arrived in Hawaii, many species have developed unique abilities and in turn many animals and plants evolved in Hawaii that couldn't be seen anywhere else in the world. These species then became known as Hawaii's native or endemic animals or plants.
The Hawaiian Islands isolated from the world started out barren and lifeless and was considered a paradise. The first flora and fauna arrived by ocean waves and/or jet stream, by birds' droppings, and by hitch-hiking on a piece of object. The species adapted to the island environment. The animals and plants in Hawaii slowly evolved to be defenseless because they had no fear of predators. Thorny plants such as the Hawaii raspberries, 'akala, lost their thorns, the ko'oko'okau lost the barbs on its needles, some plants lost their strong scents, several birds lost their ability to fly, the birds' beaks changed their shape, and the root system of some plants became fragile. Hawaii's flora and fauna lived a happy and peaceful life and many unique species evolved, but this all came to an end when our foreign intruders arrived.
Read on about the foreign invaders
[HOME][students' reports][lesson plan][photogallery] [scavenger hunt]