Free entry to Kilauea Point NWR on Sept. 25
National Public Lands Day celebrates the 655 million acres of forests, parks, refuges and open spaces that all of us own. At Kilauea Point NWR, visitors can check out the Kīlauea Lighthouse restoration project and also learn about native coastal plants and migratory seabirds.
Nēnē Awareness Day recognizes Hawaii's state bird. “The nēnē is an icon of Hawai‘i’s past, holding their own on fragments of their original habitat,” said Shannon Smith, refuge manager for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Kauai National Wildlife Refuge Complex. “We’re working with a cadre of committed partners to restore habitat and give this species a real chance to make a comeback.”
Designated Hawaii's State Bird on May 7, 1957, the endangered nēnē (Branta sandvicensis) struggles against extinction. Conservationists began breeding the birds in captivity in hopes of preserving a remnant of the declining population and, some day, successfully re-establishing them in their native habitat. Today, there are more than 800 nēnē on Kauai and approximately 1,950 nēnē statewide.
Photo courtesy of StateSymbolsUSA.com