RESEARCH PROJECT

Advancing the Pacific Regional Invasive Species and Climate Change network

A shiny black beetle with a prominent horn and hairy legs perches on a person’s thumb
Invasive species, like this Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle, can be devastating to native ecosystems, and climate change is only making the problem more challenging. (Photo: CCby0, JoseZurdo)

Communities across the Pacific are threatened by the impacts of invasive species and climate change. Invasive species have had devastating effects on Pacific Island biodiversity, ecosystem services, food, infrastructure, culture, and public health. Meanwhile, climate change is expected to worsen droughts and wildfires, increase storm severity, and raise the temperature, acidification, and sea levels, all of which exacerbate invasive species issues and increase management challenges. Research indicates that invasive species managers in the area are concerned about the impacts of climate change but are not satisfied with the knowledge or information currently available to address these threats.

To increase the effectiveness of invasive species management in the face of climate change, the Pacific Regional Invasive Species and Climate Change (RISCC) Management Network was established in 2020 to serve as a boundary spanning organization, working at the interface between science producers and invasive species practitioners. Pacific RISCC partners in Hawaiʻi and the U.S.-Affiliated Pacific Islands cover an area larger than the continental U.S., handling diverse challenges at the climate-invasive species nexus. Across the region, there is a critical need for available and easily accessible information, tools, and products to improve invasive species management under conditions of climate change.

This project will: synthesis, translate, and distribute relevant science; assess the needs for, and facilitate the co-production of, actionable research and products; and facilitate dialogue between researchers, resource managers, decision makers, and community members. This project will also increase the exchange of best management practices and lessons learned across the region, which will increase the effectiveness of invasive species management and help protect the communities and ecosystems of the Pacific.

PROJECT DETAILS

FUNDED:

FY2023

PI:

Elliott Parsons
Pacific RISCC Specialist, UH Mānoa