Conservation Biology of Hawaiian Forest Birds: Implications for Island Avifauna

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Hawaii’s forest bird community is the most insular and most endangered in the world and serves as a case study for threatened species globally. Ten have disappeared in the past thirty years, nine are critically endangered, and even common species are currently in decline. Thane K. Pratt, his coeditors, and collaborators, all leaders in their field, describe the research and conservation efforts over the past thirty years to save Hawaii’s forest birds. They also offer the most comprehensive look at the reasons for these extinctions and attempts to overcome them in the future.

Among the topics covered in this book are trends in bird populations, environmental and genetic factors limiting population size, avian diseases, predators, and competing alien bird species. Color plates by award-winning local photographer Jack Jeffrey illustrate all living species discussed or described.

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Editorial Reviews

John W. Fitzpatrick
“This book is at once an encyclopedia chronicling a global-scale tragedy, and a masterpiece call-to-arms for saving and restoring what remains of the unique and beautiful Hawaiian avifauna. Thane Pratt and coeditors are outstanding biologists and conservation heroes. For this compendium they assembled the entire who's who of experts on Hawaiian birds and conservation, and they detail the complicated historical, cultural, biological, political, and even ethical aspects of the plight of Hawaiian forest birds. From habitat destruction and agricultural monocultures to alien mammals and a pair of wicked, introduced diseases, Hawaiian birds have steadily succumbed to the full litany of human environmental scourges. The authors make a compelling case that significant conservation investment in Hawaii is vastly overdue, for we still can save the precious few species that remain.”—John W. Fitzpatrick, Ph.D., Director, Cornell Lab of Ornithology; member, 'Alala Recovery Team
Peter Vitousek
“I have had the pleasure of learning about Hawaiian birds from Thane Pratt for over fifty years. With the publication of this book, the opportunity to take advantage of his passion for and mastery of the subject is open to everyone.”—Peter Vitousek, Stanford University
Thomas E. Lovejoy
“Islands are rife with conservation drama and there is no better example than Hawaii. . . .this book is a first for conservation biology of islands in general, and has all the earmarks of a classic. . . . A cornerstone for any nature, conservation and science bookshelf.”—Thomas E. Lovejoy, president of the Heinz Center for Science, Economics, and the Environment and biodiversity adviser for the World Bank and the United Nations Foundation
John M. Marzluff
“An important book about one of the world’s most imperiled avifauna, provided by those who have devoted their lives to understanding and preserving Hawaii’s natural heritage. Never before has so much original research on so many aspects of extinction crisis been brought together.”—John M. Marzluff, author of In the Company of Crows and Ravens
The Condor
“This is one of the best bird books that I’ve read in recent years.”—David W. Steadman, The Condor
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300141085
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 11/24/2009
  • Pages: 728
  • Sales rank: 1,355,377
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 2.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Thane K. Pratt is a wildlife biologist, Carter T. Atkinson is a microbiologist, Paul C. Banko is a research wildlife biologist, and James D. Jacobi is a biologist, all at the U.S. Geological Survey, Pacific Island Ecosystem Research Center. Bethany Woodworth is an instructor of Environmental Studies at University of New England.

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