Ahihi-Kinau Natural Area Reserve
The ‘Ahihi-Kina‘u reserve is located on the southwest corner of the island of Maui and was the first designated Natural Area Reserve in 1973. The 1,238 acres contain marine ecosystems (807 submereged acres), rare and fragile anchialine ponds, and lava fields from the last eruption of Haleakala 200-500 years ago. Native plant communities that include naio, wiliwili and native cotton exist in kipuka, or pockets, but are severly imperiled by the encroachment of weeds and feral ungulates such as goats. A coral reef survey done by the Division of Aquatic Resources in 2007 indicated that the reef community within the NAR boundary waters was the only reef from their test sites that was not declining overall. Preserving the integrity of the anchialine pools is a major management focus. All access to them is closed. Main threats to these wetlands include non-native invasives such as fish or prawns, algal mat formations, and human disturbance.
VISITING HOURS: Access to the northern and most often visited portions of the reserve will be allowed during posted visiting hours of 5:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. daily.