About the Hawaii Biological Survey

The Hawaii Biological Survey (HBS), established by the State Legislature in 1992 as a program of the Bishop Museum, is an ongoing natural history inventory of the Hawaiian Archipelago. It was created to locate, identify, evaluate, all native and non-native species of flora and fauna within the State and maintain the reference collections of that flora and fauna for a wide range of uses. In coordination with related activities in other federal, state, and private agencies (such as the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, The Nature Conservancy of Hawaii, the Hawaii State Department of Land and Natural Resources, the Hawaii State Department of Agriculture, University of Hawaii's Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology program, and many others), the HBS will gather, analyze, and disseminate the biological information necessary for the wise stewardship of Hawai`i's biological resources. The HBS will conduct a coordinated inventory and monitoring program to assess the overall status and trends in the abundance, health, and distribution of plants and animals, as well as the ecosystems upon which they depend.

Soon after its founding in 1889, Bishop Museum established programs to study and document the plants and animals of Hawaii and that effort has become the largest single source of information on Hawaiian organisms. Virtually all definitive published treatments and manuals of Hawaiian organisms, beginning with Fauna Hawaiiensis in 1890, have been produced by the Museum or in close collaboration with the Museum.

There are approximately 18,000 terrestrial, 300 freshwater, and 5,500 marine species of plants and animals in Hawai‘i. Bishop Museum, which has the world's largest biological collections for Hawai‘i (ca. 4,000,000 specimens) is conducting field surveys to document the distribution of these organisms and is organizing information from its collections and the associated scientific literature into comprehensive computerized databases. This information will be used to assist natural resource agencies in the management of Hawai‘i's precious and fragile biota for years to come.

Click here for a list of Hawaii Biological Survey Publications (1992-present)

This page last revised 8 March 2003

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