Three species of dolphins are commonly seen in Hawaii`s near shore waters: spinner, bottlenose, and spotted.
A Spinner dolphin is a small, long-beaked dolphin that can “spin” or revolve around its longitudinal axis as many as six times on one leap out of the water. They are found in resident pods around all of the main islands, resting in shallow bays during the day and hunting at night for small schooling fish.
Spotted dolphins look very similar to Spinner dolphins, however, the end of their “beak” is white-tipped and mature animals have a spotted color pattern on their body. They are usually seen in the channels between the islands and do not rest near shore. Both spotted and spinner dolphins travel in schools from small numbers up to hundreds.
Bottlenose dolphins are much larger with a uniformly gray coloration and a thicker, blunter “beak”. They are usually seen in smaller pods or groups of less than 10 individuals. Intelligent and high up on the oceanic food chain, dolphins are found to engage in playful activities including bow riding where they surf in front of a boat or even a whale`s bow wave. Learn more about Hawaii`s dolphins at wildhawaii.org
The Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary`s primary focus is the graceful humpback whales that arrive in sanctuary waters to breed, calve, and nurse their young before returning north to the colder waters of the Bering Sea. However, the sanctuary also provides a harbor for fin, minke, pygmy, false killer, and right whales. The warm waters teem with many species of dolphin including bottlenose, spinner, striped and rough-toothed. In addition, Hawaiian waters and beaches are home to the endangered Hawaiian monk seal, a solitary species that can be found feeding around coral reefs, or resting on beaches. Sanctuary waters provide critical habitat for all of these unique mammals.
Hawaiian green sea turtles, or honu, can be found in Kauais crystal-clear waters. These majestic creatures are protected by the Endangered Species Act and are a popular tourist attraction. You can find honu at many of Kauais beaches, such as Anini and Haena. They often bask in the sun on the shoreline or can be seen swimming in the shallow waters near the shore. The Hawaiian green sea turtle is protected by the state of Hawaii, and it is illegal to disturb or harass them. It is important to maintain a safe distance when viewing these creatures, as any contact with them can be harmful.
Monk seals are a critically endangered species found in the waters surrounding Hawaii, and Poipu Beach is the perfect place to catch sight of these amazing creatures. The Hawaiian monk seal is one of the rarest and most endangered marine mammals in the world, with only about 1,400 left in the wild. Poipu Beach is considered one of the best places to see Hawaiian monk seals in their natural habitat, as it is home to a small colony of these creatures.
Monk seals can often be seen lounging on the sandy shores of Poipu Beach, or swimming and playing in the crystal-clear waters that surround it. However, while seeing a monk seal may be a memorable experience, it`s important to remember that they are an endangered species and should be treated with respect and care. The Hawaiian monk seal is protected under the Endangered Species Act, and it`s illegal to approach or harass them in any way.
Many visitors to Poipu Beach are enamored by the playful and curious nature of the seals, but it`s important to keep in mind that they are wild animals, and should not be fed or approached too closely. Getting too close to a seal can be dangerous for both you and the animal, as they may feel threatened and react accordingly. If you do spot a monk seal on Poipu Beach, it`s best to maintain a respectful distance and observe them from afar. Local organizations and volunteers work hard to protect and preserve these animals, and visitors can help by reporting any sightings or disturbances to local authoritie
Wild boars are one of the most interesting and intriguing animals that can be found on Kauai. These wild pigs are known for their fierce demeanor, and their sighting is always an exciting event for those exploring the island`s lush forests. Wild boars can be found in large numbers in the forests, and they are often seen digging up the forest floor in their search for food. These animals can be easily recognized by their coarse and rough fur, strong legs, and razor-sharp tusks. Their eyesight is poor, but they have excellent senses of hearing and smell, which helps them in their search for food and in detecting potential predators. Wild boars are omnivores and eat a variety of food, including roots, fruits, insects, and small animals. They can cause extensive damage to farms and gardens, and the Kauai agricultural community has been working for years to control the population in order to minimize the damage caused by these animals. In the past, hunting wild boars was a popular activity on the island, but now hunting has been generally restricted, and the population of these animals is carefully monitored to ensure that they do not cause excessive damage to the environment. While wild boars can be dangerous in some situations, they are generally shy and will retreat when approached by humans. However, it is important to remember that these animals are still wild and unpredictable, and it is recommended to keep a safe distance when observing them. Overall, the wild boar is a fascinating animal that is an important part of the ecosystem on Kauai.
Lizards and geckos are prevalent on Kauai. These fascinating creatures can be found everywhere from the bustling streets of the towns to the lush green forests and coastal areas. There are a wide variety of lizards and geckos to be found on the island, each with its unique characteristics and habitats. The most common type of lizard on Kauai is the Green Anole. This small and speedy lizard is known for its vibrant green coloration and its ability to change its color in response to stress. They can often be spotted darting through the thick foliage of the island`s forests hunting for insects and small invertebrates.
Another prevalent species of lizard on Kauai is Jackson`s Chameleon. These chameleons are known for their distinctive horn-like protrusions on their foreheads and their ability to change colors. They are typically found in more manicured landscaped areas, often living in the trees and shrubs around homes and resorts. Geckos are also common on the island, and the most common species is the Gold Dust Day Gecko. These small, brightly colored geckos can be seen clinging to the walls and structures of buildings, climbing up trees, and even crawling across the ground. They are known for their unique vocalizations, which are often used to defend their territories and attract mates. Another interesting species of gecko on Kauai is the Mourning Gecko. These small lizards are unique in that they do not have the ability to grow back their tails if they are damaged or lost. However, they can reproduce asexually, meaning that females can lay fertile eggs without a male present. Overall, lizards and geckos are an essential part of the rich and diverse ecosystem on Kauai. They provide vital services as insectivores and are a fascinating sight to behold against the stunning backdrop of the island`s natural beauty.