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Hawaiian High Islands Ecoregion
This page last revised 23 August 2006 -- S.M.Gon III

Conservation Targets
TNC Action Sites


Maps & Figures
CPT Database
Forest bird
Althoughthe 'amakihi is found in a variety of ecological systems, the montanedry system hosts remarkable populations of this endemic honeycreeper.

Functional landscapes
Montane dry forest adjacent to the subalpine system on Hawaii Island.

koa bug
Montane dry forest dominated by koa (Acacia koa) provide primary habitat for the endemic koa bug (Coleotichus blackburniae).

Montane Dry System

Natural communities between 1,000and 2,000 m (ca 3,000 - 6,000 ft) elevation, receiving less than 50inches annual precipitation, or otherwise bearing prevailingly drysubstrate conditions comprise the montane dry system in theHawaiian High Islands Ecoregion. This system is restricted to theislands of Hawai‘i and Maui, and is best developed on theleeward side of the islands, for example, the south slope of Haleakalāand the Mauna Kea - Mauna Loa saddle of Hawai‘i Island just belowthe subalpine system, and above the montane mesic system.There are a number of naturalcommunities described within this system, including a variety ofgrasslands, shrublands, and forests. Biologicaldiversity is moderate in this system,  relative to lower elevationsystems, but specialized species occur there, such as Santalum haleakalae.

Haleakala sandalwood
The Haleakalā sandalwood (Santalum haleakalae), is endemic to the island of Maui, and restricted to high elevation dry forest and shrubland.

On Hawai‘i Island, the flycatcher elepaio (Chasiempis
sandwichensis) is an important insectivore in montane
dry forest in Kona and Pōhakuloa - Pu
‘u Waawaa.

Natural communities and species of this system are listed among nested targets via the appendices.

Ohia montane dry forest
TheMontane Dry System in Hawai‘i includes a variety of vegetationtypes, including leeward forests and woodlands dominated by ‘ōhi‘a (Metrosideros) and other xerophytic genera.

Alpine System, Hawaii Island
The Montane Dry System on Hawai‘i Island (red areas above) occurs in five conservation areas (Mauna Kea, Windward Mauna Loa, Ka‘ū-Kapāpala, Kona, and Pōhakuloa-Pu‘u Wa‘awa‘a).  It is best developed in the western (leeward) conservation areas.

Alpine System, Island of Maui
The Montane Dry System on Maui (small red areas above) occurs as in the East Maui conservation area as small remnants along the leeward (south) flank of Haleakalā.

lehua blossom