A state symbol can come in the form of state animals, mammals, a state bird and flower, amphibians, nicknames, state seals, and much more.
State symbols were adopted by states to best represent them and their historical roots, their geological makeup, their past, and present successes, and the ecosystem and habitats that make up the state. Like all other states, there are many Hawaii state symbols.
What are the State Animals of Hawaii?
Hawaii’s state animal situation is certainly unique, with not one or two animals used to represent the state (past and present), but three! The Hawaii state animals are split into sub-symbols as follows:
- Hawaii state land mammal – the Hawaiian Hoary Bat (Lasiurus cinereus semotus)
- Hawaiian state marine mammal – the Humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae)
- Hawaii state mammal – the Hawaiian monk seal (Monachus schauinslandi)
The Hawaiian hoary bat became the official land mammal to represent the state in 2015. They are a species of bat that is totally unique to the islands of Hawaii and they are also unfortunately labeled as endangered due to their population declines and lack of information out there on this bat species. There are an estimated 2.5 million hoary bats in North America today.
The next animal is the Humpback whale, which has been the state’s marine mammal since 1979. Humpback whales were regularly spotted swimming in the ocean surrounding the Hawaiian islands and the whale has become somewhat of a lucky charm throughout the state. In addition to hoary bats, humpback whales are an endangered species too. It is estimated that there are currently 130,000 humpback whales in the wild today.
Finally, Hawaii’s third state animal is the Hawaiian monk seal, which is, unfortunately, endangered as well as the other two mammals that symbolize the state. These beautiful seals were adopted as the Hawaii state animal in 2008 and can be found swimming peacefully around the shores of the islands, or lazing around on the beaches. Today, there are only 1,400 Hawaiian monk seals left in the wild!
Most states will have their symbols showcase something very notable and memorable that is indicative of the state, and the Aloha State puts its history and what it stands for across very well in its state animal. These interesting facts about Hawaii and a whole host of others are what makes the state so unique and fascinating to those that live there, study in the state, are vacationing there, or are researching the historical events of Hawaii.