Maui Plants and Animals, 2022

FRIDAY, September 1, 2022 2:41:00 AM2:41:00 AM

Maui is home to some unique and interesting plants and animals. Since Hawaii is one of the most isolated places in the world, there are some plants and animals that can only be found here. Maui also contains many different biomes, from desert, to rainforest, to aquatic. This is especially amazing when you consider its small size, only 727 square miles! If you have a chance to view Maui from the air, you will be astounded by the diversity and beauty of the island. Below is some more information on some of Maui’s different plants and animals.

Native Animals

There are only two mammals that are native to Maui, the monk seal and the Hawaiian hoary bat. Both are endangered. Currently there are 44 species of birds that are found only in Hawaii (there used to be 142, but 95 are extinct). 33 of these birds are endangered. The Maui parrotbill is a species that is only found in Maui, on the windward side of Haleakala. The Nene goose, Hawaii’s state bird, is another endangered species that has one of its larger populations in Maui. Hawaii also has many unique fish, in fact, more than 20% of Hawaiian reef fish cannot be found anywhere else in the world! Although the humuhumunukunukuapua’a (Hawaii’s state fish) is native to Hawaii, it can be found in other regions as well.

Native Plants

Hawaii is home to more than 2,500 unique kinds of plants. The Ōhi’a tree is native Hawaii and is the first tree to grow in a new lava field, about 100 years after the flow. Its flowers, Lehua blossoms, have no petals, but are brush-like, and usually red in color, although they can also be orange, yellow, or white. Silversword are only found on Haleakala between 7,000-10,000 feet. Koa trees are the largest native trees in Hawaii. Koa wood is beautiful and one of the most expensive woods in the world, used to make furniture and other goods, and was the used to make some of the first surfboards.

Other Plants and Animals of Interest

Some additional animals that are a must see in Maui include whales and sea turtles. Humpback whales migrate to Maui from Alaska, arriving around the beginning of October and staying through mid-May. There are three different types of sea turtles that are native to Hawaii including the Green, Hawksbill, and Leatherback. The Green Sea Turtle is the most common. If you are lucky, you might get the chance to see these animals from the air if you decide to take a helicopter tour. Spinner dolphins, manta rays, and Molokai mountain goats have also been spotted on flights!

Some additional plants that are important to Maui include ti leaves and taro, which are used in traditional Hawaiian foods, and orchids, plumeria, and kukui nuts, which are used in traditional lei.

Invasive Species

Invasive species are non-native plants or animals that cause negative effects to the natural habitat. Some invasive animals on Maui include the mongoose and the axis deer. Mongoose were brought to Hawaii in 1883 in an attempt to get rid of rats. Since rats are nocturnal and mongoose hunt during the day, this didn’t really work. Mongoose threaten the native bird population. Axis deer were brought to Maui in 1959 for hunting. Since they have no natural predators, their large population threatens forests. Eucalyptus trees are also an invasive species. Brought to Maui in 1870, they choke out other native plant life.

Here is what some of our guests have to share about seeing the scenery of Maui from the air, including its beautiful rainforests, deserts, coastline and exciting wildlife!

“What a ride! Vince, our pilot, was great, showed us so many awesome, untouched areas! We were honeymooners but also had a family of 4 with us, just right amount of people. Great pics. Safety video reviewed prior to flight and instructors were thorough. I took Dramamine Incase but flight was very smooth! Would for sure do again and recommend!” – TravelingRayofSunshine

“Very enjoyable! Always felt safe, pilot was great and the views were phenomenal! Would love to go again!” – jrt5550

“Our Air Maui experience was the absolute best. Our pilot was awesome and flight was on time. Be sure to pay extra for front row seats. It’s worth it !!!” – cww3823

“We live in Maui and wanted a special gift for my husband’s birthday and this was it, he loved it, my daughter and i also loved it! Great pilot who gave us insight and overview of what we were seeing every step of the way. We didn’t realize Maui was so vast, it looked so big from above, great to get a different prospective of the island, definitely a worthwhile tour of Haleakala and Hana from above!” – Voyage49220323332

“Seeing Maui from the air is truly a unique experience. It’s not the same as what you see driving or hiking. The pilot was also knowledgeable and interesting in his commentary.” – Jennifer S

If you are interested in seeing these sights from the air, visit our tours page or call us directly at 877.238.4942. We look forward to hearing from you!

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