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Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center

Research at the Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center focuses on providing the scientific understanding and technologies needed to support and implement sound management and conservation of our Nation's biological resources occurring in Hawai'i and other Pacific island locations.

News

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A Climate Change Canary in the Coal Mine - The Endangered Hawaiian Honeycreepers

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New Report: Conservation Strategies for Hawaiian Forest Birds at Risk of Extinction - Biological and Biocultural Considerations

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Community Meeting for Reimagining Molokaʻi's Wetlands

Publications

Distribution and trends of endemic Hawaiian waterbirds

Four endemic species of wetland-dependent waterbirds occur on the main Hawaiian Islands, all of which have experienced sharp population declines and are listed as endangered species. Twice per year, state-wide surveys are conducted to count waterbirds, but these surveys are evaluated only infrequently. We used a state-space approach to evaluate long-term (1986–2016) and short-term (2006–2016) tren

Future directions to manage wildlife health in a changing climate

In September 2019 The Economist wrote an obituary to Okjökull, a glacier in western Iceland that was declared “dead” in 2014, a victim of climate change. Although a few wildlife species have already incurred such a fate (e.g., the Bramble Cay melomys [Melomys rubicola]) (Fulton 2017), many more are on the path to climate-driven extinction (Andermann et al. 2020; Ceballos et al. 2015; He et al. 201

Host plant associations of Lepidoptera and implications for forest bird management at Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge

Forests dominated or co-dominated by ‘ōhi‘a (Metrosideros polymorpha) are critical to most Hawaiian forest birds, but fungal diseases causing Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death (ROD) threaten ‘ōhi‘a-based food webs that support native bird communities on Hawai‘i Island. Caterpillars are the most frequently consumed arthropod prey of native birds and their young and are especially frequent in the diets of one thre

Science

A Prioritization Plan for Coastal Wetland Restoration on Moloka‘i

Wetland restoration on Moloka'i is needed to expand habitat for endangered species, improve ecosystem services, increase access to cultural resources including sedges for weaving, and increase opportunities for growing taro. The goal of this project is to assess the current status of wetlands on the island of Moloka‘i, evaluate potential impacts of projected sea level rise on these habitats, and...
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A Prioritization Plan for Coastal Wetland Restoration on Moloka‘i

Wetland restoration on Moloka'i is needed to expand habitat for endangered species, improve ecosystem services, increase access to cultural resources including sedges for weaving, and increase opportunities for growing taro. The goal of this project is to assess the current status of wetlands on the island of Moloka‘i, evaluate potential impacts of projected sea level rise on these habitats, and...
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Avian Malaria Genomic Research Project

Many factors including habitat destruction, invasive plants, non-native predators and competitors, and introduced diseases have decimated the diverse, endemic native forest bird community of Hawai‘i. In particular, avian malaria (Plasmodium relictum), which is transmitted by the introduced Southern House Mosquito (Culex quinquefasciatus), has caused dramatic declines and extinctions in many native...
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Avian Malaria Genomic Research Project

Many factors including habitat destruction, invasive plants, non-native predators and competitors, and introduced diseases have decimated the diverse, endemic native forest bird community of Hawai‘i. In particular, avian malaria (Plasmodium relictum), which is transmitted by the introduced Southern House Mosquito (Culex quinquefasciatus), has caused dramatic declines and extinctions in many native...
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Pacific Island Bird Survey Design and Data Analysis

Abundance data are collected for bird populations throughout the Pacific Islands by numerous federal, state, university, and non-profit organizations. In order to ensure data are standardized and available to researchers throughout the region, interagency bird databases have been created and continue to be used. These databases contain more than a million compiled, proofed, and standardized...
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Pacific Island Bird Survey Design and Data Analysis

Abundance data are collected for bird populations throughout the Pacific Islands by numerous federal, state, university, and non-profit organizations. In order to ensure data are standardized and available to researchers throughout the region, interagency bird databases have been created and continue to be used. These databases contain more than a million compiled, proofed, and standardized...
Learn More