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Kaua‘i Artists Partner with Hawaiian Telcom to Help Protect Endemic Plants and Animals

By Hawaiian Telcom on Dec 27, 2022 5:19:19 PM

Tags: Community

We partnered with the Rice Street Business Association and Kaua'i Murals to help raise awareness about endemic plants and animals and beautify downtown Lihue. 

“Hawaiian Telcom has been an amazing partner in supporting our vision to educate residents and visitors about our endemic plants and animals so they can do their part to help protect them,” said Addison Bulosan, President of the Rice Street Business Association. “These plants and animals are important to native Hawaiian cultural beliefs and practices as they carry mo‘olelo (stories) about sustainability, interconnectedness, and respect for all lifeforms.”


Naupaka Kahakai  by Bree Blake

 Naupaka Kahakai

The Naupaka flower, according to one mo‘olelo (story), tells of the lovers Naupaka and Kaui. Naupaka is the sister of akua Pele, who became jealous of the relationship between Naupaka and Kaui. Pele attempted to kill Naupaka and Kaui, but Naupaka fled to the sea while Kaui fled to the mountains. When they died, flowers bloomed near the shorelines and in the mountains. When joined together it is said that the lovers’ hearts are made whole again.


Koki‘o Ke‘oke‘o & Koki‘o Ula, by Holly Ka'iakapu

Koki‘o Ke‘oke‘o & Koki‘o Ula

This piece features the endemic and endangered Koki‘o ke‘oke‘o and Koki ‘o ula. The Koki‘o ke‘oke‘o (native Hawaiian white hibiscus) is the only species of hibiscus in the world known to have fragrant flowers. Its petals don’t overlap like the commonly seen hibiscus with rounded-shaped petals.


Lehua Makanoe by Bethany Coma

Lehua Makanoe

The Lehua Makanoe is a shrub that is endemic to Kaua‘i and specifically the Alaka‘i Swamp area of Kōke‘e. It is critically endangered, with only 3 growth populations remaining. Its flowers were once used in leis.


ʻAkekeʻe & ʻAkikiki bird by Bethany Coma

ʻAkekeʻe & ʻAkikiki bird

The ‘Akeke‘e, a small Hawaiian honeycreeper, is notable for its asymmetric bill.  As of 2021, the species population was estimated to be 638. 

The ʻAkikiki (Oreomystis bairdi), also called the Kauaʻi creeper, is another critically endangered Hawaiian honeycreeper endemic to Kauaʻi, Hawaiʻi. It is the only member of the genus Oreomystis. Of the Hawaiian birds known to be still in existence, it is thought to be the most endangered, with only 45 wild individuals known as of 2021.


'Alae 'Ula ~ Hawaiian Gallinule (Moorhen) by Holly Ka'iakapu

Alae Ula ~ Hawaiian Gallinule (Moorhen)

According to Hawaiian legend, the ‘Alae ‘Ula brought fire from the volcano home of the gods to the Hawaiian people. During his flight, the gallinule’s formerly white forehead was burned red by the volcano’s fire. The estimated population of this endemic water bird is in the low hundreds.


Naupaka Kuahiwi by Bree Blake

Naupaka Kuahiwi

There are several Hawaiian legends that tell the origin of the beach and mountain forms of naupaka, both of which produce these unusual half-flowers. The Naupaka Kahakai box and this Naupaka Kuahiwi box are together on the same utility pole, representing their story of two lovers who were torn apart. 

Napaka boxes

Visit Kauai Murals to learn how you can help support the Protect Native Species project.

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