Places We Protect

Pelekunu Preserve

Island of Moloka‘i

Steep, rugged mountains rise abruptly from the sea, surrounding a secluded lush green valley.
Pelekunu Valley Located on the rugged northern coast of the island of Moloka‘i. © Richard A. Cooke III

Pelekunu Preserve protects one of Hawai‘i’s last remaining free-flowing streams.



In 1986, TNC purchased Pelekunu Valley from Moloka‘i Ranch to create this spectacular preserve on Molokai’s rugged northern coast.

Flanked by the highest sea cliffs in the world, which rise 3,000 feet above sea level, Pelekunu Valley is also protected by strong seasonal surf, making access very difficult.

Why TNC Selected This Site

The preserve’s remote location has protected its lowland rainforest, verdant sea cliffs and one of Hawai‘i’s last remaining free-flowing streams.

Pelekunu Stream contains nearly all of Hawai‘i’s native aquatic fauna, including the rare hihiwai, a native freshwater snail, and five fish species collectively referred to as ‘o‘opu. With fused pelvic fins that form a suction cup, these tiny fish are among the most remarkable organisms in the world, able to scale sheer waterfalls and jump 25- to 30-foot rocks.

What TNC Has Done/Is Doing

TNC protects the health of Pelekunu Stream through regular monitoring activities. We also work to protect the valley from the destructive impacts of invasive animals like goats and pigs, as well as harmful invasive weed species.

Pelekunu Preserve is managed in partnership with the State Department of Land & Natural Resources through the Natural Area Partnership Program.



Closed to public due to remote, rugged location.


5,759 acres

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