Nature Out of Place

Hawaii's Alien Invaders

On the island of Guam, the brown tree snake has decimated bird populations. Should it ever get to Hawaiʻi it could do similar damage.

Wild pigs destroy native vegetation, accelerate erosion, spread weeds and pollute the water supply.

Introduced to Hawaiʻi as an ornamental, Australian tree fern spreads like wildfire, sending spores up to seven miles on prevailing winds.

Kappaphycus, an invasive smothering sea weed, can double in size in just 15-30 days, growing into thick, tangled mats that suffocate reefs and marine life.

Miconia kills everything beneath it and cannot hold the forest soil. Over time, a diverse native forest becomes a single-species miconia forest, prone to landslides.

Though it yields fruit and wood, strawberry guava forms dense thickets that crowd out native trees and destroys the watershed services they provide.

Leather mudweed, or Avrainvillea alamadelpha, is an invasive seaweed that traps sediment, creating an oxygen-starved marine environment.

The coqui frog's loud, incessant call has adversely impacted Hawaiʻi real estate values, while its appetite for insects threatens the balance of native ecosystems.

Don't let its striking flowers and exotic fragrance fool you. Kāhili ginger is an invasive plant that chokes out the natives and takes over the forest floor.

The Banana poka vine has smothered over 70,000 acres of native forest. Hardest hit have been the state’s koa forests, which supply Hawaii’s premier hardwood.


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