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Keeping Hawai‘i's forest birds one step ahead of disease in a warming world

May 12, 2020

Hawai‘i’s high-elevation forests provide a critical refuge from disease for native forest birds. However, global warming is facilitating the encroachment of mosquitoes and the diseases they transmit into increasingly higher elevations of remaining refugia, threatening the viability of the forest birds across the islands. Multiple management actions to address the threat of disease have been proposed, but there is an urgent need to identify which actions (or series of actions) should be prioritized as most effective, most cost-efficient, and most likely to produce results at a pace sufficient to stay ahead of climate change. A group of scientists, managers, and policy makers convened to evaluate a set of possible conservation strategies under a structured decision-making framework, focusing on management of Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge, which was established to protect native Hawai‘ian forest birds. The biological models necessary to evaluate the set of conservation actions identified are not yet available, but the process of developing the framework for the decision analysis was immensely valuable for framing the issues and identifying information needs. Lessons learned from Hakalau Forest will
be applicable to many other areas in Hawai‘i facing the same threat to forest birds.

Publication Year 2020
Title Keeping Hawai‘i's forest birds one step ahead of disease in a warming world
Authors Eben H. Paxton, Jim Kraus
Publication Type Book Chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Index ID 70218728
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center