Honolulu Zoo Society : Fragile Hawaii

Introduced Animals and Invaders of Hawaii

Topic Overview

Begin the Lesson

Throughout the centuries, people have purposefully and accidentally introduced alien species into the Hawaiian ecosystem. Some of these alien species became invasive have become a problem.

Whole Class Introduction to the Lesson

You will need at least one computer with Internet connectivity and a projection device, a classroom with more than one computer, or access to a computer lab.  This introduction will take approximately 10 minutes to complete.

Have students visit http://www.hawaiiinvasivespecies.org/multimedia.html and watch the public service announcements. You will need to have QuickTime installed on the computer/s in order to watch the videos.

Sample Questions:

  • What are some ways you can help prevent the spread of invasive animals? Answers will vary.
  • Name some invasive species? Answers will vary.
  • What is an invasive specie? A plant or animal that destroys the balance of an ecosystem.

As part of the introduction, you may want to review some of the glossary terms in advance of students going online. At this point you can launch the WebLesson as whole-class activity using a projection device, or you can assign students to work individually or in teams in a computer lab.



WebLesson Sites
Did you know that more and more aliens arrive in Hawaii each year? Like all aliens some of them are good, but most just don’t belong in this beautiful island ecosystem!

A long time ago, the island of Oahu was completely covered in lava rock. Native species arrived here on their own and gradually made Hawaii into a tropical paradise. Many other plants and animals did not come to the island on their own – they were introduced. Many of these species do not compete with native species and do not hurt the environment. Others are not so nice . . .

These invasive species threaten Hawaii's unique plants and animals.
Imagine you are a biologist. What would you like to tell people about invasive species?

What can you do help control the presence and spread of invasive species?
Lesson Pages
Matching Aliens with Impacts
Rich Media
Media and Interactive Resources
Rich Media
Counterattack: A university - community effort strips alien gorilla ogo from Waikiki
Battling the Brown Tree Snake in Guam
Rich Media
Hawaiis Birds Threatened by Invasive Species
Rich Media
Conclusion & Project
Introduced invasive species are having a devastating effect on the Hawaiian ecosystems. Gorilla Ogo, Miconia, and the Small Indian Mongoose are just a few of the alien species that are ravaging the Hawaiian understories and waters. Officials and volunteers work tirelessly to contain and stop the spread of invasive species and prevent other alien species like the Brown Tree Snake from entering Hawaii.

Create a radio public service announcement to educate your community about invasive species.

Develop a brochure that you can distribute to students at your school
alien - foreign
aquaculture - the cultivation of aquatic animals and plants, especially fish, shellfish, and seaweed, in natural or controlled marine or freshwater environments; underwater agriculture
deliberately - on purpose
ecosystem - a system formed by the interaction of a community of organisms with their environment
eradicate - to remove or destroy utterly
erosion - the action of wind water or other natural processes that gradually wears away soil, rock, or land
erratic - a lack of consistency, regularity, or uniformity
feral - wild
indigenious - native
introduced species - a plant or an animal that was purposefully or accidentally transported to a new ecosystem
invasive - tending to spread
stowaway - an animal who hides aboard a ship or airplane
toxins - poisonous substances
understory - the shrubs and plants growing beneath the main canopy of a forest
watershed - an area of land where all of the water under it or on it goes to the same place