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Mōke‘ehia Islet Seabird Sanctuary

Area

Description

Mōke‘ehia Islet Seabird Sanctuary is a relatively large islet, about 6.5 acres in size, rising to about 160 ft. in height, near the coast of West Maui just south of Pu‘u Koa‘e, Kahakuloa. Several hundred ‘ua‘u kani (wedge-tailed shearwaters, Puffinus pacificus) burrow into the steep cliff walls of the islet. It is also home to native wasps, bees, Hawaiian wolf spiders and beet webworms (Spolodea recurvalis). It has ten native plant species including: patches of aweoweo (Chenopodium oahuense), ‘ūlei (Osteomeles anthyllidifolia), and ‘ilima (Sida fallax), with ‘ōhelo kai (Lycium sandwicense) cascading down the steep walls. Native plants at the coast include ‘ākulikuli (Sesuviumportulacastrum), nena (Heliotropium curassavicum), (Panicum faurei), and ‘akoko (Chamaesyce celastroides var. amplectens).

As with all state Seabird Islet Sanctuaries, visiting Mōke‘ehia is prohibited. They are rare places where seabirds can nest with few or no predators and no large mammals (including humans) trampling and crushing the burrow where they raise their young. Turtles and seals can rest on their tiny shores without harassment and they are havens for native insects and plants without people constantly inadvertently bringing in weed seeds and other alien pests. Respect and admire these places through binoculars, peacefully, from shore.