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Where the Wild Things are

Hawaii offers the best marine wildlife encounters of 17 different species of toothed dolphins and eight species of baleen whales (though little is known about the distribution or occurrence of these whales, with the exception of the humpback whale); along with sea turtles, tropical fish, rays, monk seals, pelagic seabirds, and coral reef inhabitants.

Blainville's beaked whaleHawaii's marine realm is outstandingly rich and highly unique. Twenty-five percent of coral reef fish alone are endemic (exist nowhere else on earth). When corals, algae, macroinvertabrates, reef fish and other species are included, up to 62% of Hawaii's marine species are found solely in Hawaii.

Approximately 680 species of fish are known to inhabit the waters around the Hawaiian Islands. Of those, approximately 450 species stay close to the reef and inshore areas. Of the approximately 450 types of reef fish here, about 27 percent are native to Hawaii and are found nowhere else in the world (endemic).

There are 18 species of toothed whales. Humpback whales visit yearly - Hawaii is their only breeding ground located in the United States. Fin, sei and blue whales are other baleen whales that have been recorded in Hawaiian waters.

These marine systems are also at the root of Hawaiian history and culture. As voyagers, early Hawaiians maintained an intimate relationship with the ocean. The Hawaiian creation chant places the origin of life at the sea, beginning with a coral polyp. The population of this archipelago has always depended on the ocean and its riches for their survival.

Marine-related tourism is a mainstay of Hawaii's economy and is consistently cited as having the best diving destinations and top beaches in the world.

Hawaii's DolphinsHawaii's WhalesHawaiian Green Sea Turtles l Hawaiian Monk SealsPelagic SeabirdsCoral Reefs | Coral SpawningManta and Spotted Eagle Rays l Sharks of HawaiiFlying Fish | Take ActionWhale and Dolphin Research l About the Wild Dolphin Foundation l Dolphin Watching | Photos l Other Resources l Internships

Wild Side's wildlife tours focus on education and conservation so that an Hawaiian False Killer Whale, incominginteractive relationship can be maintained in the best interest of both humans and dolphins. We strive to foster admiration and deep respect for these wonder-ful marine mammals.

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