Conservation & Wildlife


At the top of Pu’u Makua, lies the Auwahi Forest Restoration Project. This an ecological restoration initiative associated with the Auwahi Wind Farm. The project aims to restore and preserve the native ecosystem of the area by reforesting degraded lands and protecting endangered plant and animal species. This was done nearly 20 years ago headed by the famous DR. Arthur Medeiros to re build a habitat for the ‘Ōpe’ape’a (native Hawaiian Horay Bat).

The reforestation efforts at Pu’u Makua involve planting native Hawaiian tree species, such as koa (Acacia koa), ʻōhiʻa lehua (Metrosideros polymorpha), and ʻaʻaliʻi (Dodonaea viscosa), among others. These native trees are crucial for restoring the biodiversity and ecological balance of the region, as well as providing habitat for native wildlife.

In addition to reforestation, the project also involves habitat restoration, invasive species management, and community engagement. It is a collaborative effort between the Auwahi Wind Farm, landowners, conservation organizations, and local communities to ensure the long-term success of the restoration project.

We at Ulupalakua Ranch know that what we do on our land effects all that lay in our domain and all life that dwells in it. We are committed to protecting this special place that we are privileged to steward.

One of the most iconic species in Upcountry Maui is the Hawaiian nene goose, the state bird of Hawaii. The nene is an endangered species, and Upcountry Maui is one of the few places on the island where it can still be found in the wild. Visitors to the region may be lucky enough to spot these distinctive birds, which are often seen grazing in grassy fields.

Another common sight in Upcountry Maui is the axis deer, an introduced species that has become established on the island. The deer were originally brought to Hawaii for hunting, but they have since become a nuisance in some areas, as they can damage crops and native vegetation. Despite their negative impact, the deer are still considered a popular game animal, and hunting is permitted in some parts of the island.

Other native species that can be found in Upcountry Maui include the Hawaiian hoary bat, the Maui parrotbill, and the Hawaiian honeycreeper. Visitors may also see introduced species such as the mongoose and the Indian peafowl, which have become established on the island over the years.

Overall, Upcountry Maui is a fascinating destination for wildlife enthusiasts, offering a chance to see some of Hawaii’s unique and diverse species in their natural habitat. However, visitors are reminded to respect the environment and to avoid disturbing or harming any of the wildlife they encounter.