Lehua Island Ecosystem Restoration Project

  1. Update 11-16-17 : Ongoing monitoring of Lehua Island indicates that there continues to be no further signs of rats on island. Birds are flourishing with no further sign of rat attacks on eggs, chicks, or adults on nests. Plant leaves and new shoots that were previously consumed by rats are persisting. Many of the plants are in bloom. Further monitoring will occur or a regular basis to determine success of the eradication and environmental recovery response.
    wedge-tailed shearwater chick

    Hundreds of healthy wedge-tailed shearwater chicks are continuing to grow on Lehua Island. November 2017.

  2. Eradication status: The Lehua Island Ecosystem Restoration Project completed its 3 applications of rodent baits on 9/12. Post-application monitoring of Lehua Island will continue for several months to determine the success of the rat eradication effort and environmental response. Check back to this website to receive regular updates on observations and results.
  3. The first bait application of three was completed on 8/23. The second application was completed on 8/30. The third and final application was completed on 9/12.
  4. Phone Updates: The phone message has ended and will no longer be updated.
  5. Mariners: The marine safety zone notice related to the Lehua Island Ecosystem Restoration Project ended on 9/12. All marine activities may continue as normal. All marine resources are safe to use and consume. 
  6. New Answers to Updated Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): There have been a number of questions that have surfaced since we we first published a FAQ on this site.  You can now read our Updated Lehua FAQ, a Community Update FAQ, and the Community Meeting FAQ which answers questions raised at the July 25th public information meeting.  These three FAQs should answer many of the questions you may have about the Lehua Restoration project.

Lehua Island is a 284-acre island located three-fourths of a mile off the northern shore of Niihau (a privately owned 46,080-acre island). Lehua is a state-designated seabird sanctuary managed by the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) and federally owned by the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG). Lehua is one of Hawaii’s most important seabird colonies because of its size and height above sea level.  It also offers a unique opportunity for restoring an island ecosystem.

DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW), in conjunction with federal sponsor United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), technical partner Island Conservation (IC), and the cooperating members of the Lehua Island Restoration Steering Committee (LIRSC) are proposing to complete the eradication of rats from Lehua Island so further restoration efforts can move forward in the future.

To learn more about the Lehua Island restoration project, you can read our Frequently Asked Questions document and the Executive Summary of the proposed project.

The State’s Final Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact for the Lehua restoration project became available in the Environmental Bulletin published by the Office of Environmental Quality Control on July 23, 2017. You can review this document at the link below. 

The Federal Final Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact for the Lehua restoration project is now available at the Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office website.

Learn more about Lehua and the proposed project by watching the video below:


Lehua Rat Eradication Draft EA Aerial Tour from Hawaii DLNR on Vimeo.