The Work at Kure Atoll State Wildlife Sanctuary

General Information

Green Island, the atoll’s only permanent island, is the state of Hawai‘i’s most significant seabird sanctuary with 18 seabird species totaling over 100,000 nesting birds. The role of Kure Atoll Conservancy (KAC) is to provide critical funding that supports all aspects of the State of Hawaiiʻs Kure Atoll Wildlife Sanctuary research field station operations, logistics, and personnel.

Habitat Restoration Program

The largest focus of the State of Hawaiʻi field camps is habitat restoration projects including the eradication of invasive plants, restoration of native plants, as well as pest management. And over the years, management objectives have aimed to constantly modify field efforts in response to maintaining a balance between restoring an ecosystem and the impact the ecosystem receives from sudden changes.

Natural Resource Protection & Monitoring

Monitoring includes all wildlife monitoring and surveys–including seabirds, monk seals, laysan ducks, shorebirds, and native plants–as well as monitoring the shoreline for marine pollution.

Pollution Reduction

Pollution reduction usually entails removing marine debris that are entanglement hazards. Other areas include the removal of PCBs and other toxicity that remains from the Coast Guard operations that were once on Kure.

Hawaiian Science Research & Practices

Through the partnerships of Nā Maka o Papahānaumokuākea and various community-based organizations throughout the main Hawaiian Islands, Kure field camps are able to bring together scientific, cultural, and traditional knowledge systems to create adaptive management actions with an understanding that addresses the environmental impacts that plague Kure Atoll.

Conservation Management

In 1995, the State successfully eradicated rats from Green Island and created strict biosecurity protocols. After predator removal, some seabird species returned (small petrels) and others increased in population size (ground-nesting boobies and albatrosses). However, the spread of Verbesina encelioides (Golden Crown-beard) and other invasive weeds (Starr et al. 2001) has severely threatened recovery by degrading and displacing seabird nesting habitat on a large scale.


There are a set of protocols–called Best Management Practices (BMPs) –to prevent the introduction of new threatening species to a fragile ecosystem.  It was created by PMNM to mitigate impacts and sustain long-term field camps.

Outreach Education

Kure Atoll has many messages to share with the world. Outreach education is one of the only avenues we have to reach our communities in Hawaii and beyond. Kure Atoll Conservancy focuses on providing education in a few targeted ways: through the Bolus Education Program, Nā Kiaʻi Nihokū, and The Kiamanu Project.