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Archive for the ‘Hawaii’ Category

Source: Jackie Gleason Columbus, OH Desc: Pict...
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In Hawaii, a seemingly endless number of people flock this tropical paradise in order to get the most spectacular views of the landscapes, explore the exotic flora and fauna, relax in the pristine blue waters of the Hawaiian beaches and enjoy the unique surfing experience that only this island paradise can offer.

Upon reaching the island of Oahu, you have plenty of options in getting from one place to another.  You can opt to avail of the Honolulu airport shuttle services as they are always ready to transport tourists 24-7 from the airport to any hotel that you have booked accommodations with.  It’s not unusual for airport shuttle in Honolulu to welcome and greet tourists with what is called a “lei” – a classic icon of warm welcome that is unique to Hawaii, usually a garland or wreath of flowers.

You can experience Waikiki surfing at its finest – with plenty of airport Waikiki express shuttle services eagerly waiting to take you to get the most breathtaking views of the Diamond Head tuff cone.  One of the Waikiki airport shuttle service will be able to take you to any surfing destination you desire, so you can conveniently make you way to the waves and have a great time surfing.

Are you a nature lover?  Then you might want to check out various establishments which offer a round trip tour of Honolulu.  Since the Hawaiian Islands is isolated from the rest of the world, the flora and fauna that can be found here are unique to Hawaii.  Some areas here have also been declared as protected areas due to some species being on the “endangered” list.  Also, some areas in Hawaii are under the strict management and protection of the National Park Service.  These areas, which are also considered as National Parks include: Haleakala National Park which is located alongside Kula, Maui, which also includes the dormant volcano Haleakala, which was the one responsible for the formation of East Maui.  The second one is the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, which can be found on the southeast region of the Hawaiian Islands, and also includes the currently active Kilauea volcano, as well as its many rift zones.

Should you have plans of visiting any of the nearby islands, you can always avail the services of numerous charter airplanes or boats that will eagerly take you to a tour from one island to another.  You may also be interested in visiting Mauna Kea, located in the big island of Hawaii and is also the tallest mountain here – this is the perfect getaway for adventure seekers, particularly hikers and mountain climbers.  And don’t forget the world-famous island of Maui – well-known for its surfing heritage and is the top surfing destination for most surfers and water sports enthusiasts. If you are interested in buying Hawaii property you can find information at American Dream Realty.

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Mauna Kea, Hawaii
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The summit of Mauna Kea is situated in the ahupua‘a (traditional land division) of Ka‘ohe. Nearly 3,895 acres of Mauna Kea’s upper southern flank was designated as the Mauna Kea Ice Age Natural Area Reserve by the State of Hawai‘i in 1981. Deposits of two Pleistocene glacial episodes (200,000-130,000 years ago and 80,000- 10,000 years ago) are found here. Some of the summit eruptions occurred during glacial times, and there is ample evidence of lava-ice and lava-water interaction. The rapid chilling of lava flows against ice is the geological explana- tion for the fine-grained rock prized by Hawaiians for adzes. In addition to the glacial deposits, the summit con- sists of scoria cones – formed as lava was flung skyward by escaping, expanding gas, to fall back as scoria, bombs, and spatter – and lava flows. Scoria – also called cinder – is volcanic rock that contains many gas bubbles, or vesicles. A small lake, Waiau, sits at an elevation of 13,000 feet, and its base may be a year-round layer of permafrost or an impermeable layer of fine volcanic ash.
At the summit, winds gust up to 70 miles per hour, swirling thin air with half the oxygen of sea level. In spite of nightly freezing temperatures and intense ultraviolet radi- ation, patches of leafy lichens and mosses dot this aeolian (influenced by the wind) ecosystem. The alpine summit zone is inhabited full time by at least 12 cold-hardy native insects and other arthropods (invertebrates with jointed legs). They include the day-flying Agrotis moths and omniv- orous cutworm caterpillars, voracious Lycosa wolf spiders, centipedes (Lithobius species) that prey on insects and their kin, and springtails (Entomobrya kea), tiny insects that jump using special spring apparatuses on their tails.

The unique, flightless wëkiu bug (Nysius wekiuicola), was discovered by Francis G. Howarth, Steven Lee Montgomery, and William P. Mull in 1979 on the summit cone and a few other pu‘u with concentrated aerial insect fallout. “Wëkiu” (pronounced “WHEY-cue” or “VEH-cue”) means “summit” in Hawaiian. This mini predator – about the size of a grain of rice – is dependent on fresh insects blown up the mountain from lower elevations. It hunts for prey lodged in scoria and crevices, and waits along the edges of snowmelt for its meals. Lab studies with wëkiu in controlled freezers revealed an amazing blood chemistry that kept them from freezing until 1.4°F. A sister species, Nysius a‘a, which also sucks blood from insect waifs, is found only on Mauna Loa.
Construction of roads, parking lots, and facilities associ- ated with astronomy at the summit of Mauna Kea have resulted in the loss of habitat for native summit creatures, and continues to threaten the fragile summit ecosystem. Chemicals, wastewater, and construction debris pose addi- tional threats if not disposed of properly. Undisturbed scoria

– the preferred substrate of the wëkiu bug and other Mauna Kea arthropods – can be crushed by foot and vehicular traffic. Scoria cones on the summit and upper slopes, once pristine, now bear the scars of illegal, off-road, recreational vehicle use. The wëkiu is a candidate endangered species and the subject of a citizens’ petition for listing with critical habitat designation under the Endangered Species Act.

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Green turtle, Chelonia mydas
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CCH is working hard to defend the federal Endangered Species Act. The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed a bill seriously weaken- ing the ESA, and it is now up to the Senate to save the ESA from being gutted. The proposed amendments to the ESA establish bad public policy and will not increase the likelihood of recovering endangered species. The amendments may even cause species on the brink to go extinct.

We sent out action alerts to hundreds of conservationists and concerned citi- zens, and we prepared an op-ed piece for 2 • Kölea

the Honolulu daily newspapers. We also contacted our elected officials, and joined environmental and Native Hawaiian organizations in a meeting with Congressman Neil Abercrombie in Honolulu. Rep. Abercrombie voted in support of the proposed the amendments.

The proposed amendments to the ESA would: • Require the federal government to use

taxpayer dollars to pay developers and corporations for complying with the ESA’s prohibition on killing or injuring

Endangered ‘ïlioholoikauaua.

Photo by Craig Rowland, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

listed species, and set no limits on these payments. This provision would quickly drain funding needed to recover endangered species. We should not pay devel- opers to follow the law.

• Place endangered species at risk whenever the federal government fails to meet a 180-day deadline for telling developers whether

their actions would harm or kill endan- gered species. If the government misses the deadline – no matter what the rea- son – developers are permanently exempted from the ESA.

• Repeal all ESA provisions that protect endangered species from the harmful impacts of pesticides. Pesticides are implicated in the decline of an array of species including sea turtles and Pacific salmon.

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SUPPORT research and resource management activities to protect native Hawaiian species and their habitat
EDUCATE through annual wildlife posters and teacher’s guides distributed to every public, charter, private, and Hawaiian language immersion school in Hawai‘i
CONNECT PEOPLE WITH NATURE through service projects and field trips
PARTICIPATE in conservation policy-making through lobbying at the county, state, and federal levels; by serving on task forces; and by developing specific campaigns focused on:

Preventing invasive species from damaging the environment
Raising public awareness about global warming and reducing greenhouse gas emissions
Assisting wildlife agencies with species conservation
Connecting people with nature and Hawaiian wildlife
WATCHDOG government wildlife agencies such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Hawai‘i Department of Land and Natural Resources
LITIGATE as a last resort to protect rare and endangered Hawaiian species and ecosystems