How many species are there in Hawaii?

Scott Miller scottm at BISHOP.BISHOP.HAWAII.ORG
Sun Mar 19 17:17:57 CST 1995

For those who are fascinated by how many species occur in various places,
the following paper has just been published by Bishop Museum's Hawaii
Biological Survey:

Eldredge, L.G. & S.E. Miller. 1995. How many species are there in Hawaii?
Bishop Museum Occasional Papers 41: 3-18.

Summary: From literature and unpublished sources, approximately 21,383
species have been recorded from the Hawaiian Islands and surrounding
waters.  Of these, 8,759 are endemic to the Hawaiian Islands and 4532 are
non-indigenous species of protists, fungi, plants, and animals.  Of these
approximately 15,000 species are terrestrial, 300 are found in freshwater,
and 5,500 are marine.  Endemism varies from very low (e.g., lower plants
and many marine organisms) to very high (e.g., insects and snails).
However, many gaps in knowledge of Hawaii's biota (especially the smaller
organisms -- viruses, bacteria, protists, freshwater algae, etc.) still

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