Waikamoi Preserve provides an important sanctuary for hundreds of native Hawaiian plants and animals. It's high-elevation rain forest and alpine shrubland are home to 12 different native bird species, seven of them endangered, as well as spectacular plants like the blue ʻōpelu, a native lobelia.
East Maui, on the slopes of Mt. Haleakalā
Size of Waikamoi Preserve
The Conservancy's Work at Waikamoi Preserve
The Nature Conservancy protects the native species that live in Waikamoi by managing the invasive weeds and animals threatening their survival. Our scarce funding goes towards on-the-ground land management, which is at the heart of what we do.
Public Access to Waikamoi Preserve
The National Park Service leads hikes through Waikamoi Preserve every Thursday morning at 8:45 am on the Bird Loop Trail. Reservations are required. Call (808) 572-4400 between 8:00 AM and 4:00 PM HST for more information and to make reservations. Please call early since there is limited space available.
Other Hike Requests
Recent staff reductions limit access to the opportunities described above with the exception of the following:
Educational Groups: Student groups seeking to learn about Hawaiian native forests can contact the East Maui Watershed Partnership (EMWP), a group committed to protecting and promoting the watershed that includes Waikamoi. For classroom presentations and hikes, contact EMWP at (808) 573-6999 or go to www.eastmauiwatershed.org for more information. Due to resource limitations, EMWP cannot accommodate off-island requests.
Scientific Research at Waikamoi Preserve
Researchers interested in Waikamoi Preserve or other Maui preserves must fill out a research application form at least two months in advance of any planned fieldwork. Priority shall be given to applications where logistics, permits and arrangements have been thoroughly and independently planned out. Note that continuing research requests must be accompanied by any prior reports that inform us of the progress of your work in our preserves.
The preserve shelters a large variety of native ferns, herbs, shrubs and trees that reflect the biodiversity of Maui. Many are rare plants unique to East Maui, including members of the Lobelia and Geranium families.
East Maui's forest is home to many native birds, including the scarlet `i`iwi, the crimson `apapane, and the bright green `amakihi . The preserve also harbors the rare `akohekohe, and the kiwikiu or Maui parrotbill.
Why the Conservancy Selected Waikamoi Preserve for Preservation
The East Maui watershed spans more than 100,000 acres across the windward slopes of Haleakalā, the 10,000-foot dormant volcano that dominates the east side of Maui. This vast koa-`ōhi`a forest is the last stronghold for 63 species of rare plants and 13 species of birds, seven of them endangered. The Conservancy established a preserve at Waikamoi, in the heart of the watershed, to provide a sanctuary for these birds and for hundreds of other native Hawaiian species.
What The Nature Conservancy Has Done/Is Doing in Waikamoi Preserve
Waikamoi Preserve became a reality in 1983 when the Haleakalā Ranch Company granted a conservation easement to the Conservancy over 5,230 acres. The preserve was expanded in 2014 when landowner Alexander & Baldwin conveyed a conservation easement over an additional 3,721 adjacent acres, bringing the total to 8,951 acres and making Waikamoi the largest private nature preserve in the state. The preserve protects part of the 100,000-acre East Maui Watershed, which provides 60 billion gallons of clean water annually to Maui's residents, businesses and agricultural community. The Conservancy, Haleakalā Ranch and Alexander & Baldwin continue to work together (as part of the East Maui Watershed Partnership) to protect some of the best remaining forest in all of Hawai`i.
Waikamoi Preserve is managed in partnership with the State Department of Land & Natural Resources through the Natural Area Partnership Program.