Hawaii not in North America?

Does anyone know why Hawaii is not included in the North America standard place? Wake Island is included so I don’t think it’s a matter of being on the same continental plate.

Edited to add link to the North American standard place and a screenshot

Everything with orange is considered part of the North American place, a geographic filter you can use to find organisms.

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Including Wake Island is probably an error.

Technically none of the Pacific Islands, US held or not, should be considered part of North America.

They can be considered part of the US, but not North America. Same as how French Guiana is considered part of France, but not part of Europe (as in landmass, not political region), or Greenland part of Denmark, but not Europe.


With respect to its indigenous culture, Hawaii is part of Polynesia :)


Also in terms of biogeography, despite the very many introduced species.


Yes, I agree that Wake Island shouldn’t be part of North America. Neither should Hawaii. I did create a flag, but since editing places, especially large ones, can be a major load, it may not be worth editing. Or maybe it can just be kept track of and a change made with any future edits.

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I don’t think it is a matter of which continental plate it is on either. If it were, part of the western California mainland and nearby islands would be excluded from North America. From a perspective of biogeography, it makes sense for islands to be assigned to continents, or not, based on their proximity to large continental landmasses.


It’s listed as being under the United States, which is under North America: https://www.inaturalist.org/places/hawaii Unfortunately, political associations do not always match up with geographic ones, so there are bound to be issues like this.

Can you please share screenshots and URLs of what you’re referring to? That’s always the best thing to do, so everyone knows exactly what you’re referring to. “North America standard place” might mean a few different things. Wiht a URL, it’s umambiguous.

Hawaii is the only state in the United States that:

is not geographically located in North America;
is completely surrounded by water;
is an archipelago;
has a royal palace;
it has no straight line in its boundary.

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Not to mention that you can’t drive a car across county lines there. ;-)

And yet it has three Interstate highways.

As for Wake Island being part of iNat’s North America boundary, that does seem weird to me.

some related discussion in https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/countries-falling-into-two-continents-should-not-be-grafted-to-any-continent/28500

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Hawaii is part of the Oceanian biogeographic realm - see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oceanian_realm