Island Conservation Opens New Office in Hawaii

C announces new office in Hawaii to strengthen its biodiversity conservation partnership and projects in the region.

Office opens today
Island Conservation (IC) announces the opening of a new office in Hawaii to strengthen its biodiversity conservation partnerships and projects in the Tropical North Pacific. The Office is staffed by veteran IC Program Manager Alex Wegmann, PhD, who will work with IC’s Southwest Pacific and North American Regional Programs.

Stronger partnerships

“I am eager to be positioned at the center of so many crucial conservation opportunities in the Pacific. I am starting right away to support the shared conservation agendas with our regional partners,” said Wegmann. These include the US Fish and Wildlife Service, State of Hawaii, Kaho’olawe Island Reserve Commission, US Territory of Guam, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, and a host of non-government partners such as The Nature Conservancy.

Alex’s ability to forge strong partnerships that achieve real-world conservation is surpassed only by his science-based, on-the-ground experience bringing endangered plants and animals back from the brink of extinction by eliminating harmful invasive species from islands. Alex recently completed management of a successful project that removed invasive rats from an island in the region.

Supporting hands-on conservation
Alex will focus on partnering with governments, non-government organizations, and island communities to protect the region’s most threatened species by eliminating invasive species from islands throughout the Tropical North Pacific. Current projects include work on Lehua and Kaho’olawe Islands in Hawaii, as well as Angaur, Palau. Alex will also work with IC’s partners to use the best data and science available to identify priorities and projects for future conservation actions in the Tropical North Pacific.

“Island Conservation is committed to strategies that help restore key habitats that support endangered wildlife threatened by introduced species. The opening of an office in Hawaii demonstrates our commitment to the local communities and partners. Our intentions are for a strong, collaborative working relationship sustained into the future,” said IC North American Regional Director Gregg Howald. “Alex brings a wealth of tropical ecosystem ecology expertise and application of invasive species management that can benefit many projects and many endangered species.”

Brad Keitt, IC Director of Conservation, said “We are excited to work with partners who have established tremendous conservation experience and capacity in the region. The Hawaii office has the full support of IC’s operations as we work to identify the best ways we can assist these partners.”

Alex Wegmann, Bio
Alex received a BA in Anthropology from Linfield College, and his PhD in Botany from the University of Hawaii. His graduate research on Palmyra Atoll focused on terrestrial ecosystem response to invasive rats. He has over 12 years of experience with conservation projects on Pacific islands, including the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, Line Islands, and Micronesia. His experience with Pacific island ecosystems has made Alex a valuable consultant to many government and non-government conservation organizations – the US Fish and Wildlife Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, New Zealand Department of Conservation, The Nature Conservancy, and Coastal Conservation.

Alex began working with Island Conservation in 2005 on Palmyra Atoll where he was a key participant in successful trials and research critical to removing introduced black rats (Rattus rattus). He went on to manage and advise several projects in Micronesia. Alex also worked with the Pacific Invasives Initiative to design a web-based resource kit for Pacific island conservationists. In 2011, he managed development and implementation of the successful invasive rat eradication project at Palmyra. Alex is presently evaluating and testing innovative tools for invasive species eradication, and he is working with state, federal, and non-government organizations in Hawaii and Micronesia to advance several important conservation projects.

About Island Conservation 
Island Conservation (IC) is a global, not-for-profit conservation organization whose mission is to prevent extinctions by removing invasive species from islands. Once invasive animals are removed, native island species thrive and ecosystems recover with little additional intervention. To date, Island Conservation has protected 967 populations of 338 native species on 51 islands worldwide. In 2012, IC launched the Small Islands, Big Difference campaign to save our world’s most vulnerable species by rallying partners worldwide to eradicate invasive species from islands. IC is headquartered in Santa Cruz, CA with field offices in Australia, British Columbia, the Caribbean, Chile, Hawaii and Washington, DC.

Program Contacts
Gregg Howald, Director, North America Region, gregg.howald@islandconservation.org
604.628.0250 (desk); 250.859.4534 (mobile)

Ray Nias, Director, Southwest Pacific Region, ray.nias@islandconservation.org

61.414.917.297 (desk)

Alex Wegmann, Program Manager, Hawaii Office, alex.wegmann@islandconservation.org 831.459.4787 x 114 (desk) / 808.277.6749 (mobile)

Media Contact

Heath Packard, Director of Communications, heath.packard@islandconservation.org 360.584.3051 (mobile)
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