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Location USA, Hawaii
Central coordinates 159o 24.00' West  22o 13.50' North
IBA criteria A1, A2, A4i, A4ii, A4iii
Area 82 ha
Altitude 0 - 173m
Year of IBA assessment 2009


Site description The 203-acre (82-hectare) Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge is located one mile north of Kilauea town on the northernmost point of Kauai. The refuge was established on February 15, 1985, when the land around Kilauea Point was transferred to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from the U.S. Coast Guard. The refuge contains Kilauea Lighthouse, built in 1913, three lighthouse keepers houses, and other historic buildings. The entire 31-acre area of Kilauea Point is on the National Register of Historic Places. The refuge was enlarged in 1998 through donation of the Crater Hill parcel by the Pali-Moana Corporation and by purchase of the Mokolea Point parcel using Land and Water Conservation funds, and again in 1993-94 by purchase of lots in Seacliff Plantation. Kilauea Point was established as a refuge because it has particular value for migratory birds, is suitable for wildlife-oriented recreation and education, and for the protection of endangered and threatened species and other natural resources. The refuge is crescent-shaped and composed of two peninsulas, Mokolea Point on the eastern edge and Kilauea Point on the western edge, connected by steep rocky bluffs that reach a maximum elevation of 568 feet (173 meters) at Crater Hill. These formations are remnants of the Kilauea volcanic vent that last erupted 250,000 to 500,000 years ago. During the winter months the rugged coastline is battered by huge waves that roll across the north Pacific and reach heights of over 50 feet (15 meters). The average monthly temperature ranges from the lower to upper 70?s (oF). Median annual rainfall is about 40 inches (1 meter). Habitats include rocky cliffs and beaches, coastal shrubland dominated by Scaevola sericea, open grassy areas, and upland forest and shrubland composed of naturalized alien species. Kilauea Point is among the most-visited sites on Kauai and is one of the most popular wildlife refuges in the nation, with over half a million visitors per year.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Hawaiian Goose Branta sandvicensis breeding  2007  300 individuals  good  A1, A2, A4i  Vulnerable 
Laysan Albatross Phoebastria immutabilis breeding  2007  400 individuals  good  A1  Near Threatened 
Wedge-tailed Shearwater Ardenna pacifica breeding  2007  8,000-15,000 breeding pairs  unknown  A4ii  Least Concern 
Red-tailed Tropicbird Phaethon rubricauda breeding  2007  350 nests  good  A4ii  Least Concern 
Red-footed Booby Sula sula breeding  2007  2,536 nests  good  A4ii  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - seabirds breeding  2007  11,200-18,200 breeding pairs  medium  A4iii   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge (FWS) 78 protected area contained by site 78  

Land ownership Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge is owned and managed entirely by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research 100%

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge. Downloaded from on 17/09/2014

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