pacific rim conservation

climate challenge: Rising seas

grant award: $244,530; Year awarded: 2018

Over 97% of the global population of Black-footed Albatrosses, Bonin Petrels and Tristram’s Storm Petrels nest on low-lying atolls in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands that are threatened by sea level rise and increasing storm surges associated with global climate change. Recent estimates predict an 80% probability of shoreline change by 2030 for the main Hawaiian Islands and 100% probability for the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. While the main Hawaiian Islands are more secure
against sea level rise, the coastal ecosystems are severely degraded. This project aims to restore the habitats on the main islands through transplanting native species, invasive plant removal, and seabird translocation to a coastal dune habitat in Oahu, which will be able to withstand projected sea level rises. Due to the seabird species’ tendency to stay within a particular area and their social attraction to other seabirds, it is unlikely that they would seek a new habitat outside of these translocation efforts.