Take a trip alongside the South Shore of Oahu to Makapu’u Beach. Look across the ocean and you’ll find two small islands not too far from the main coast of Oahu. This is called Manana Island. The larger one, rising about 360 feet, is more commonly referred to as “Rabbit Island.” The smaller one, adjacent to Rabbit Island, is called “Black Rock.”
These islands are a seabird sanctuary and are protected by the State of Hawaii. It’s home to many Sooty Terns, Brown Noddys, Bulwer’s Petrels, Red-tailed Tropicbirds, and a number of Hawaiian Monk Seals. However, it is illegal to land on these islands without authorized permission from the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources.
Don’t confuse the name of “rabbit” island. There are no rabbits on the island. When looking at it from the Oahu shoreline, the island looks somewhat like a rabbits head. But rabbits once inhabited the island beginning in the 1880’s. John Adams Cummins owned a sugar plantation in Waimanalo and decided to raise the rabbits on Manana Island. Once introduced to the island, they began to eat the vegetation and multiply in numbers. Unfortunately, the rabbits were removed about a hundred years later because they were destroying the native ecosystem. As of 1994, rabbits no longer live on this island.