A Pocket Guide to Hawai‘i’s Wildlife is the most complete guide to the wildlife inhabiting America’s only tropical island state. It’s coverage, through text and photos of 140 SPECIES of mammals, reptiles, amphibians and easily observed birds, will broaden your appreciation of Hawai‘i’s natural life and environment as well as pique your curiosity.
To speak of wildlife on remote islands such as the Hawaiian Archipelago is to talk mostly about birds. The Hawaiian Islands were never connected to any continental source of wildlife. Before the coming of humans, only the chance events of wind and wave brought colonizing animals. The mammals that could make the journey over thousands of miles of open ocean had to either fly or swim. Thus, the only two species to reach the islands on their own were a bat and a seal. When the first Polynesian settlers arrived, they found mostly birds and these few other species. That changed rapidly as the early settlers brought with them pigs, dogs, and unintentionally rats, skinks, and geckos who either purposely or as hitchhikers hid on voyaging canoes.
Later arrivals brought with them a host of domestic animals that quickly became feral. By introducing you to Hawai‘i’s current motley assemblage of animals, this volume will help you learn and appreciate the fragility of Hawai‘i’s unique ecology.