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Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center

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The photo is a scarlet `i`iwi (Vestiaria coccinea), a rare Hawaiian honeycreeper.  It is perched on a Koli?i (Trematolobelia kauaiensis) to take nectar and pollinate the plant. Over the years, non-native mosquitos have been carrying avian diseases (avian pox and malaria) higher and higher into the mountain forests. `I`iwi are extremely susceptible to these diseases, and since 2006, ‘i?iwi have no longer visited the Koli?i at this site.   View the picture full size. Photo credit: ©Jack Jeffrey Photography

Wildlife Health and Zoonotic Disease

Endemic and indigenous plants and animals of Hawaii and other Pacific Islands are particularly vulnerable to the introduction of new diseases and disease vectors. The terrestrial flora and fauna of these remote islands evolved in relative isolation and have few natural defenses when exposed for the first time to new pathogens. Humans may become directly involved when these pathogens are zoonotic and capable of moving from wildlife into human populations. PIERC is actively engaged in studies to determine risks, impacts, and potential control strategies for existing and new disease and vector introductions that may affect wildlife, plant and human health in Hawaii, American Samoa and other Pacific Island Trust Territories.


Project Lead Scientist
Biocomplexity of Avian Disease Carter Atkinson | Dennis LaPointe
Ecology of Disease Vectors Dennis LaPointe
Zoonotics and Disease Surveys Carter Atkinson| Dennis LaPointe
Ecotoparasites Dennis LaPointe
Avian Disease in the South Pacific Carter Atkinson

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