Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center

Predicting Invasive Species Impacts

Invasive species research is essential to understanding how Pacific Island ecosystems continue to change. Invasive species disrupt ecosystems by displacing or causing the death of native species. Research that predicts the spread of invasive species and forecasts their effects aids managers in responding more quickly to threats before they develop fully.
Filter Total Items: 8
Date published: October 12, 2018
Status: Active

New Technologies and Groundwork for Mosquito Control in the Alakai Plateau

Introduced mosquito-borne avian diseases, avian pox and avian malaria, are key limiting factors for endemic Hawaiian forest birds and are, in part, likely responsible for past extinctions and the continued decline of extant species populations.  In the last 40 years on the island of Kaua‘i a number of species have become increasingly rare and several are now presumed extinct. Coinciding with...

Date published: June 26, 2018
Status: Active

Monitoring Bird and Rat Behavior to Improve Invasive Species Management

Introduced rats are notorious predators of birds and their nests worldwide, but especially on remote islands. Rats (Rattus exulans) first arrived in Hawai‘i with Polynesian colonists about 1,000 years ago, resulting in deleterious consequences for native birds and ecosystems. Since Western contact in 1778, two additional rat species have become established in Hawai‘i, including the highly...

Date published: January 31, 2018
Status: Active

Pathways for Movement and Rate of Spread of Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death on the Island of Hawai‘i

Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death (ROD) is an emerging and rapidly spreading disease of ‘ōhi‘a (Metrosideros polymorpha), a keystone native forest tree in the Hawaiian Islands. The disease is highly pathogenic in native ‘ōhi‘a and can lead to significant mortality once symptoms become evident. This emerging pathogen is a significant threat to native forests throughout the state because of its...

Date published: January 11, 2018
Status: Active

Integrated Management of Alien Predators

Small mammals (including three species of rats and one species of mongoose) and social Hymenoptera (order of insects including ants and yellowjacket wasps) form two groups of alien predators in Hawaiian ecosystems. The combined impact of these predators has resulted in substantial loss or reduction of native biota in the Pacific. Furthermore, given the past successes of managing or excluding...

Date published: December 27, 2017
Status: Active

Feral Pig Abundance at Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge

Feral pigs (Sus scrofa) have been identified as a significant problem in 120 U.S. National Wildlife Refuges. Pigs cause substantial degradation to natural ecosystems through rooting, digging, and browsing, but they are particularly destructive in Hawai‘I, which has no native terrestrial large mammals.

Date published: November 21, 2017
Status: Active

Efficacy of Avian Botulism Surveillance and Mitigation Using Detection Canines

Avian botulism causes waterbird mortality in Hawai‘i's wetlands and elsewhere. We will evaluate using trained scent-detection canines (sniffer dogs) as a new tool to survey for the presence of avian botulism. Biologists will compare variables influencing detection probability and detection rates with traditional search methods. The pilot study will test the feasibility of this approach as a...

Date published: June 21, 2017
Status: Completed

Experimental Control of Invasive Ant Species

Islands and atolls throughout the Pacific have been impacted by invasive ant species. Threatening native ants and other arthropods with their aggressive behavior and ability to colonize large geographic areas, invasive ants pose one of the most serious threats to island ecosystems. This project focuses on three areas of the Pacific: American Samoa, Rose Atoll, and Johnston Atoll. 

Date published: June 16, 2017
Status: Active

Mosquito Vectors of Dengue and Zika Viruses in Hawaii National Parks

Six species of biting mosquitoes have been introduced to the Hawaiian Islands since Western contact, two of which are vectors of dengue, chikungunya, and Zika viruses. Environmental conditions favorable for the transmission of dengue and Zika occur year-long across Hawai‘i’s coastline. To better understand the ecology of vector mosquitoes and support public health efforts, mosquito monitoring...