A Master's of Environmental Management Capstone Experience

Abstract: Extinction rates have been increasing over the past century, a trend that is likely to continue with the increasing prevalence of threats such as climate change and invasive species. Hawaiʻi has earned the moniker of “extinction capital of the world”, with 586 species listed as either threatened or endangered according to state and international listings (IUCN Red List). Collaborative efforts that integrate multiple knowledge systems, communities and approaches are critical to recovering endangered species, yet conservation efforts are often siloed among taxonomic groups, ecosystems, and land owners (e.g., state, federal, private, non-profit), limiting potential for collaboration and increased efficiency in resource allocation when addressing threats that impact multiple taxonomic groups or adjacent ecosystems. Despite these increasing extinctions, a recent study suggests solutions exist for the majority of at-risk species (Price et al., in prep). I hypothesize that potential synergies and collaborative solutions exist across taxonomic groups to better inform proactive conservation management. To achieve this, I will utilize the IUCN Red List data regarding at-risk species in the Hawaiian Islands to: (1) evaluate threats and potential solutions across taxonomic groups; (2) discern whether recovery actions to address the threat of climate change are explicitly addressed in Red List data; (3) explore the incorporation of Indigenous knowledge and values in the IUCN Red List data.  Expected outcomes will allow resource managers to improve allocation of limited resources to achieve ʻāina momona (thriving and abundant landscapes and communities). The anticipated output will be a published peer-reviewed scholarly article, and a public capstone presentation. The timeline of this capstone project will be broken up into five parts: capstone project proposal and presentation, IUCN Red List review & analysis, data compilation for figures, manuscript, and capstone project final presentation. All resources needed have been obtained.

UH Mānoa Wildlife Ecology Lab Website:

no ka lāhui 1.jpg