Safe harbor for Hawaii

Environmentalists say the endangered species declarations are long overdue

The Obama administration recently took big strides toward ecological conservation in Hawaii.

According to The Associated Press, the administration earlier this month declared 48 Hawaii-only species as endangered and designated more than 40 square miles on the island of Kauai as critical habitat to allow indigenous plant and animal species to be safe from the encroachment of invasive species. The 48 unique species included two Honeycreeper birds (pictured) and a fly, and ferns, trees and shrubs found only on Kauai.

The decision was received favorably by both the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and The Nature Conservancy.

The Tucson, Ariz.-based Center for Biological Diversity, which has been trying to get the 48 Kauai species on the endangered list since 2004, called the classification “long overdue,” adding that some of the species have been candidates for the endangered species list for more than two decades.