Flora and Fauna

Photo by Wasabi
Trail Info Guides
Native Species

Hawai`i has the highest number of threatened and endangered species in the United States. Nearly 1300 plant species found no where else on earth make these islands their home. Aggresive, invasive plants and animals threaten these rare and exotic plants, which have evolved on Hawai`i for thousands of years. Kaua`i's ecosystem is very fragile because of it's climate and fertile soil. Invasive species can take hold quickly and spread causing unforeseeable problems in our isolated environment. It is a precious and rare gift to explore among the living garden of Kaua`i and it is critical to respect and care for the fragile life that lives here.

Easy things you can do to help preserve Kauai's native species:

  • Stay on the marked trail
  • Don't pick flora
  • Check your shoes and hiking gear- are they caked with dirt and seeds from another environment? Clean your gear before you come to help stop the spread of invasive species.
The following organizations are working toward preservation of Kaua`i's ecosystems and offer tours to the public for greater education.

The National Tropical Botanical Garden :

The National Tropical Botanical Garden, a non-profit institution, formed in 1964 to respond to the critical status of the world's tropical plants. Dedicated to research, conservation and education, they have developed gardens at five locations around the world, three of them on the island of Kaua`i.

Today, the focus of their work is in native plant conservation and habitat restoration with an emphasis on perpetuating traditional knowledge. All three Kaua`i gardens- McBryde, Allerton and Limahuli- offer tours to the public and share unique plant collections, topography, cultural information and history.

Na Aina Kai :

Na Aina Kai (Hawaiian for "Lands by the Sea") is a 240 acre botanical garden on Kaua`i's North Shore, featuring 13 diverse gardens, a hardwood plantation and beach. What once used to be a private estate is now a non-profit organization with a mission to preserve land, conserve resources, provide educational opportunities and invest in sustainable forestry.

Na Aina Kai hosts tours to the public and provides facilities for events. It also features one of the United State's largest collections of bronze sculptures, with more than 70 pieces spread throughout the property.

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Now you're in the know... are you ready to go?

Trail Comments (10 comments)   View all comments   

Andrea Anderson | Jan 12, 2009 5:13AM

Can you please let me know which trails are acceptable for horseback riding?

Thank you.

Kauai Explorer Staff | Jan 13, 2009 6:01PM

Hi Andrea - I have seen people riding horseback on Kuilau trail. Best to go with a guide as some of the best riding is on private land. Princeville is beautiful riding. W

Mia Ruiz | Mar 06, 2010 1:14AM

My sister and I will be arriving in Lihue on May 19 evening and hope to wake up very early to begin the Kalalau trail on the Thursday the 20th. We have permits for 5 days on the trail. Where is a [...] view more

Kauai Explorer Staff | Mar 06, 2010 6:10PM

Mia - stay at Camp Naue in Haena and you'll be close to the trailhead.

Ken Barclay | Jul 21, 2010 9:28PM

My son and I will be hiking the NaPali coast on August 22, what edible wild fruit might we come across. Can you recommend a book (with pictures) re: the wild fruit in Kaua'i. Thank you very much.

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