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Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center Archive

Vaccines might be effective tools for protecting critically endangered forest birds from introduced diseases such as avian malaria and pox virus.  We evaluated efficacy of a commercial canarypox vaccine against wild isolates of avian pox from native and non-native birds. We found that the vaccine itself was potentially pathogenic in Hawaii Amakihi and provided only partial protection against two isolates of pox virus that are found in native forest birds.
C.T. Atkinson,Wiegand, K., Triglia, D., & Jarvi, S. 2012.

Reversion to Virulence and Efficacy of an Attenuated Canarypox Vaccine in Hawai‘i ‘Amakihi (Hemignathus virens).


The Nene: Hawaii's iconic goose. Hess, S.C., 2011. The Nene: Hawaii’s iconic goose. A mixed bag of successes, setbacks, and uncertainty. The Wildlife Professional 5(3): 56-59.

The Nene: Hawaii's iconic goose (PDF)


Population Dynamics of Hawaiian Seabird Colonies Vulnerable to Sea-Level Rise. Hatfield, J.S., Reynolds, M.H., Seavy, N.E. & Krause, C.M. 2012. Population dynamics of Hawaiian seabird colonies vulnerable to sea-level rise. Conservation Biology 26(4): 667-678.

Population Dynamics of Hawaiian Seabird Colonies Vulnerable to Sea-Level Rise (PDF)

The reestablishment of native ecosystems on land severely degraded by long-term alternative use requires reversal of the impacts of erosion, organic-matter loss, and soil structural damage on soil hydraulic properties. This issue is perhaps especially critical in dryland forests where the soil must facilitate native plants’ optimal use of limited water. We hypothesized that reforestation can measurably change soil hydraulic properties over restoration timescales. Improved characterization of how this process occurs is crucial for understanding long term impacts of restoration on ecology in this rapidly changing environment.
Perkins, K.S., Nimmo,J.R., and Medeiros, A.C. 2012.

Effects of native forest restoration on soil hydraulic properties, Auwahi, Maui, Hawaiian Islands. Geophysical Research Letters 39, L05405. (PDF).


A Hawaii Creeper (Oreomystis mana), ©Jack Jeffrey Photography. The rediscovery of the three endangered species at lower elevations than expected was part of a joint U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Geological Survey project on the potential impact of climate change on avian disease. All three species are believed to be highly susceptible to mosquito-transmitted diseases, limiting their distribution to the cooler, higher elevations of the refuge. These new observations significantly extend the current known range of these species at the refuge. New Findings of Endangered Birds at Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge Give Hope to Recovery Efforts

USGS Newsroom | Audio

Photo credit: ©Jack Jeffrey Photography


The Wildlife Professional Hess, S.C., and P.C. Banko. 2011. Sheep vs. Palila on Mauna Kea: After 200 Years of Damage, Can These Native Birds Recover? The Wildlife Professional 5(3): 60-63.

Sheep vs. Palila on Mauna Kea (PDF)


Feral cats, as predators of wildlife, are devastating to wildlife on remote oceanic islands. S.C. Hess, 2011 By Land and by Sea: The Widespread Threat of Feral Cats on Hawaiian Wildlife. The Wildlife Professional 5: 66-67.


Conservation of oceanic island species presents many ecological and logistical challenges. Reynolds, M., C. McGowan, S. J. Converse, B. Mattsson, J. S. Hatfield, A. McClung, L. Mehrhoff, J. R. Walters, and K. Uyehara. 2010. Trading off short-term and long-term risk: minimizing the threat of Laysan Duck extinction from catastrophes and sea-level rise. A Case Study from the Structured Decision Making Workshop January 25-29, 2010, National Conservation Training Center, Shepherdstown, WV, USA.


Coastal plant communities in Hawai'i are distributed across a very wide range of conditions, and are anything but homogeneous Warshauer, F. R., J. D. Jacobi, and J. Price. 2009. Native coastal flora and plant communities in Hawai'i: Their composition, distribution, and status. Hawai'i Cooperative Studies Unit Technical Report HCSU-014. University of Hawai'i at Hilo.


Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park (HAVO) is the largest area in the State of Hawai`i protected for its geology and landscapes and its native flora and fauna. These lands stretch from the seacoast of Kilauea Volcano to far above timberline on the summit of Mauna Loa.  Our book is a guide to all animal and plant species in HAVO that are specially recognized as endangered species in the general sense. There are 23 such animal species and 71 plant species covered in the handbook, including six species planted in HAVO but not naturally occurring. In addition, we describe seven rare communities. Linda W. Pratt, T.K. Pratt, and D. Foote. 2011. RARE AND ENDANGERED SPECIES OF HAWAI`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK: Endangered, Threatened, and Rare Animal, Plant, and Community Handbook. Hawaii Cooperative Studies Unit Technical Report 25, University of Hawaii at Hilo.


Hawai'i's Dryland Forest Perkins, K. S., J. R. Nimmo, and A. C. Medeiros (In Press). Effects of native forest restoration on soil hydraulic properties, Auwahi, Maui, Hawaiian Islands. Geophys. Res. Lett., doi:10.1029/2012GL051120, in press. (PDF)


The Rust Fungus P. psidii Burnett, K., S. D’Evelyn, L. Loope and C. Wada. 2012. Economic analysis of the proposed rule to prevent arrival of new genetic strains of the rust fungus Puccinia psidii in Hawai‘i. Technical Report No. 177. The Hawai`i-Pacific Islands Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit & Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit, University of Hawai`i, Honolulu, Hawai`i. 50 pp.. (PDF)


Hawaii's forest bird community is the most insular and most endangered in the world and serves as a case study for threatened species globally. T.K. Pratt, C.T. Atkinson, P.C. Banko, J.D. Jacobi and B.L. Woodworth (Eds.), 2009. Conservation Biology of Hawaiian Forest Birds: Implications for Insular Avifauna. Yale University Press, New Haven CT.


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