White terns 512x219

Palmyra Atoll Research Consortium

In July 2004, The Nature Conservancy established the Palmyra Atoll Research Consortium (PARC) with researchers from around the globe (Stanford University, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, American Museum of Natural History, California Academy of Sciences, University of California at Santa Barbara, University of California at Irvine, University of Hawaii, U.S. Geological Survey, and Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand). This collaborative partnership of universities, museums, and conservation organizations conducts innovative, interdisciplinary work on the natural systems of Palmyra Atoll and the central Pacific. These studies span the realms of both land and sea, and include diverse fields such as oceanography, geology, chemistry, and biology. PARC scientists are researching everything from the ocean currents that wash this remote atoll to the microbes, plankton, plants, crabs, fish, sharks, whales, and birds that live here. The PARC research provides a fundamental understanding of nature, broadens public appreciation of marine conservation, and informs management of island and coastal ecosystems worldwide.

Due to the on-going efforts of Protect Palmyra, an organization represented by Island Conservation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Wildlife Refuge System and The Nature Conservancy of Hawai'i, Protect Palmyra has completely eradicated non-native black rats from the Atoll ecosystem.  From the 1940's through 2011 black rats killed nesting seabird chicks, land crabs and was a threat to one of the last stands of Pisonia forest on the planet. Giving native species a chance to thrive and function as nature intended requires hands-on management backed by good research and science methods that Protect Palmyra continues to provide.