Problem Definition-Baseline

Since 1987, I have assisted the Cook Islands Conservation/Environment Service and, more recently, the Takitumu Conservation Area Project and the Avifauna Conservation Programme of the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) to plan and implement a recovery programme for the kakerori, a critically endangered forest bird endemic to Rarotonga. In 1989, the kakerori was one of the 10 rarest birds in the world, and classified as 'critically endangered' (Collar et al. 1994) with a population of just 29 birds. I calculated

Human impact on biodiversity usually is measured by reduction in species abundance or richness. Just as important, but much more difficult to discern, is the anthropogenic elimination of ecological interactions. Here we report on the persistence of a long ecological interaction chain linking diverse food webs and

Our ability to predict the identity of future invasive alien species is largely based upon knowledge of prior invasion history. Emerging alien species—those never encountered as aliens before—therefore pose a significant challenge to biosecurity interventions worldwide. Understanding their temporal trends, origins, and the drivers of their spread is pivotal to improving prevention and risk assessment tools. Here, we use a database of 45,984 first records of 16,019 established alien species to investigate the temporal dynamics of occurrences of emerging alien species worldwide.

Native forest species exhibit a well-known range of ecological roles with respect to natural disturbance regimes, from pioneer phase to mature phase, and they regenerate from a range of sources, including dormant seeds, seed rain, pre-established juveniles, and resprouts from damaged adults. In contrast, the ecological roles of invasive, non-indigenous species in forest communities after natural disturbances are not well understood. Some previous studies of invasive species have emphasized their weedy nature and their ability to colonize anthropogenic disturbances.

Vanuatu is made of a group of 80 rugged, volcanic islands which have been pushed up from the edge of the Pacific Rim.