Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center
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.