Pacific Rim Conservation undertakes a variety of biological surveys and monitoring for a wide range of partners throughout Hawaii and the Pacific region. We use scientifically recognized methods to measure presence, abundance, and status of bird, bat, plant, and pest populations. Techniques include transects, point counts, and other distance-based methods, mist-netting and banding, mark-recapture analysis, spot-mapping, nest searching and monitoring, geolocation, and GIS. When possible, results from biological surveys are submitted for publication in peer-reviewed scientific journals (embedded links within text will take you to project specific publications).
Survey and monitoring projects
- For two years we have been work with partners at Island Conservation to monitor seabird species abundance and reproductive success prior to removing rodents from Lehua Island (pictured below), a small island 20 miles west of Kauai. By determining the approximate number of birds and their reproductive success before and after rat removal, we will be able to quantify the impact that rats were having on the ecosystem.
- For the last four years, we have worked with the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and the Hawaii Division of Forestry and Wildlife to monitor seabird abundance and reproductive success at Kaena Point after the removal of invasive predators in 2011. We have also been experimenting with social and acoustic attraction to increase seabird numbers and diversity within the reserve. Photo below is of a Black-footed Albatross visiting our decoys.
- For the last six years, we have worked with the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to help find foster parents for Laysan Albatross eggs that would otherwise be destroyed. Approximately 80 albatross pairs attempt to breed each year at the Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) on Kauai, but because this creates a collision hazard for military aircraft (flying albatrosses can ground planes), the eggs are removed. The eggs are placed in an incubator, and in mid-December, albatross nests on Kauai’s North Shore are visited to determine if their eggs are fertile. If albatross on the refuge are incubating inviable eggs, they are given a ‘foster egg’ from PMRF so that those birds still have a chance at survival. Results can be downloaded here
- Surveys for the endangered Hawaiian hoary bat at Kokee on Kauai, using Anabat bat detectors, in collaboration with the US Air Force.
- Surveys for Newell’s Shearwaters and Hawaiian Petrels using auditory detection methods, night-vision devices, and burrow searches on Kauai on Maui.
- Island-wide surveys and long-term monitoring of Oahu Elepaio populations to evaluate effects of predator control and mosquito-borne diseases, including estimation of annual survival, nest monitoring, and calculating population growth, in collaboration with the Hawaii Division of Forestry and Wildlife, the U.S. Army, and the Nature Conservancy of Hawaii.Report 15, Report 22, Report 41 (All reports are in PDF format)
- Surveys of Hawaiian forest birds using Variable Circular Plot methods, in collaboration with the Hawaiian Forest Bird Inter-Agency Database Project run by the
U.S. Geological Survey Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center