Eben H Paxton, Ph.D.
Ph.D. 2008 Biology, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ
M.S. 2000 Biology, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ
B.S. 1991 Evergreen State College, Olympia, WA
Specialty: Avian ecology and conservation, demographic modeling, conservation genetics
Research Interests: My research focuses on understanding factors that affect population dynamics – why populations increase or decline over time – and through an understanding of the “why” populations change in size provide natural resource managers information on “how” to maintain healthy populations. My research has focused mainly on birds, mostly endangered species, using field research, modeling, and genetic research to understand population dynamics and identify possible conservation actions to help imperiled populations. My work in Hawai‘i is focused on the native Hawaiian forest birds.
Personal Interests: Hunting, fishing, and lounging at the beach
Science and Products
Many of Hawai‘i’s forest birds have shown significant declines in the past 200 years, with many currently listed as endangered species. Multiple threats have been identified as contributing to declines, including disease, invasive species, habitat loss, and decreased survivorship and productivity caused by introduced predators. Demographic and ecological studies are needed to determine how...
Mesic forests of Hawai‘i island provide an ideal system for the study of forest restoration because they have a similar history to other tropical and subtropical forests globally, while maintaining a relatively simple species assemblage. Many of these forests were cleared for grazing, and then later abandoned, to become dominated by pasture grasses that form competitive layers such that...
Improvements in the understanding of the ecology of four endangered Hawaiian waterbirds (Hawaiian duck, Hawaiian coot, Hawaiian common moorhen and Hawaiian stilt) and more robust monitoring techniques are needed by State and Federal agencies in order implement effective recovery actions for these species.
Extinction risk and conservation options for Maui Parrotbill, an endangered Hawaiian honeycreeper
Extinction rates for island birds around the world have been historically high. For forest passerines, the Hawaiian archipelago has suffered some of the highest extinction rates and reintroduction is a conservation tool that can be used to prevent the extinction of some of the remaining endangered species. Population viability analyses can be used...Mounce, Hanna L.; Warren, Christopher C.; McGowan, Conor P.; Paxton, Eben H.; Groombridge, J.J.
Research and management priorities for Hawaiian forest birds
Hawai‘i's forest birds face a number of conservation challenges that, if unaddressed, will likely lead to the extinction of multiple species in the coming decades. Threats include habitat loss, invasive plants, non-native predators, and introduced diseases. Climate change is predicted to increase the geographic extent and intensity of these...Paxton, Eben H.; Laut, Megan; Vetter, John P.; Kendall, Steve J.
Extreme drought alters frequency and reproductive success of floaters in Willow Flycatchers
Changes in habitat quality, including those caused by extreme events like droughts and floods, could alter costs and benefits of territoriality and thereby the prevalence and reproductive consequences for individuals capable of breeding that do not do so (floaters). We studied floating behavior in a population of Southwestern Willow Flycatchers (...Theimer, Tad; Sogge, Mark K.; Cardinal, Suzanne N.; Durst, Scott L.; Paxton, Eben H.
Ecological genomics predicts climate vulnerability in an endangered southwestern songbird
Few regions have been more severely impacted by climate change in the USA than the Desert Southwest. Here, we use ecological genomics to assess the potential for adaptation to rising global temperatures in a widespread songbird, the willow flycatcher (Empidonax traillii), and find the endangered desert southwestern subspecies (E. t. extimus) most...Ruegg, Kristin; Bay, Rachael A.; Anderson, Eric C.; Saracco, James F.; Harrigan, Ryan J.; Whitfield, Mary J.; Paxton, Eben H.; Smith, Thomas B.
The effect of isolation, fragmentation, and population bottlenecks on song structure of a Hawaiian honeycreeper
Little is known about how important social behaviors such as song vary within and among populations for any of the endemic Hawaiian honeycreepers. Habitat loss and non‐native diseases (e.g., avian malaria) have resulted in isolation and fragmentation of Hawaiian honeycreepers within primarily high elevation forests. In this study, we examined how...Pang-Ching, Joshua M.; Paxton, Kristina L.; Paxton, Eben H.; Pack, Adam A.; Hart, Patrick J.
Rapid colonization of a Hawaiian restoration forest by a diverse avian community
Deforestation of tropical forests has led to widespread loss and extirpation of forest bird species around the world, including the Hawaiian Islands which have experienced a dramatic loss of forests over the last 200–800 years. Given the important role birds play in forest ecosystem functions via seed dispersal and pollination, a bird community's...Paxton, Eben H.; Yelenik, Stephanie G.; Borneman, Tracy E.; Rose, Eli; Camp, Richard J.; Kendall, Steve J.
Assessing the potential of translocating vulnerable forest birds by searching for novel and enduring climatic ranges
Hawaiian forest birds are imperiled, with fewer than half the original >40 species remaining extant. Recent studies document ongoing rapid population decline and pro- ject complete climate-based range losses for the critically endangered Kaua’i endemics ‘akeke’e (Loxops caeruleirostris) and ‘akikiki (Oreomystis bairdi) by end-of-century due to...Fortini, Lucas B.; Kaiser, Lauren R.; Vorsino, Adam E.; Paxton, Eben H.; Jacobi, James D.
Program MAMO: Models for avian management optimization-user guide
The following chapters describe the structure and code of MAMO, and walk the reader through running the different components of the program with sample data. This manual should be used alongside a computer running R, so that the reader can copy and paste code into R, observe the output, and follow along interactively. Taken together, chapters 2–4...Guillaumet, Alban; Paxton, Eben H.
Survivorship across the annual cycle of a migratory passerine, the willow flycatcher
Annual survivorship in migratory birds is a product of survival across the different periods of the annual cycle (i.e. breeding, wintering, and migration), and may vary substantially among these periods. Determining which periods have the highest mortality, and thus are potentially limiting a population, is important especially for species of...Paxton, Eben H.; Durst, Scott L.; Sogge, Mark K.; Koronkiewicz, Thomas J.; Paxton, Kristina L.
Altitudinal migration and the future of an iconic Hawaiian honeycreeper in response to climate change and management
Altitudinal movement by tropical birds to track seasonally variable resources can move them from protected areas to areas of increased vulnerability. In Hawaiʻi, historical reports suggest that many Hawaiian honeycreepers such as the ‘I‘iwi (Drepanis coccinea) once undertook seasonal migrations, but the existence of such movements today is unclear...Guillaumet, Alban; Kuntz, Wendy A.; Samuel, Michael D.; Paxton, Eben H.
Methods for measuring bird-mediated seed rain: Insights from a Hawaiian mesic forest
Amount and diversity of bird-dispersed seed rain play important roles in determining forest composition, yet neither is easy to quantify. The complex ecological processes that influence seed movement make the best approach highly context specific. Although recent advances in seed rain theory emphasize quantifying source-specific seed shadows, many...Rose, Eli; Stewart, Meredith; Brinkman, Andrew; Paxton, Eben H.; Yelenik, Stephanie G.
Movements of four native Hawaiian birds across a naturally fragmented landscape
Animals often increase their fitness by moving across space in response to temporal variation in habitat quality and resource availability, and as a result of intra and inter-specific interactions. The long-term persistence of populations and even whole species depends on the collective patterns of individual movements, yet animal movements have...Knowlton, Jessie L.; Flaspohler, David J.; Paxton, Eben H.; Fukami, Tadashi; Giardina, Christian P.; Gruner, Daniel S.; Wilson Rankin, Erin E.
Forest birds on the island of Hawaii are responding positively to being restored in one of the largest, ongoing reforestation projects at Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge, according to a new study released July 10 in the journal Restoration Ecology.
Long distance flights in search of flowering trees threatens the Hawaiian Iiwi as climate change increases the distribution of avian diseases
Approximately 500 Puaiohi exist in the wild, all on Kauai
Kauai Island forest birds at tipping point toward extinction