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Mr Paul Radley

Overview of thesis

Title of thesis: Projected Sea Level Rise and the Conservation Ecology of the Micronesian Megapode (Megapodius laperouse senex) in Palau, Micronesia

Abstract

Climate change is predicted to exact a heavy toll on the world’s biodiversity.  While taxa on larger and more temperate landmasses are expected to be overwhelmingly affected by warmer temperatures and fluctuating rainfall, those of the insular ecosystems that typify Oceania may suffer the greatest losses through sea level rise (SLR).  One of the species that will be greatly affected by SLR is the population of the IUCN listed Micronesian Megapode (Megapodius laperouse senex) endemic to the Palau archipelago, western Micronesia. The majority of this subspecies is found in the uninhabited UNESCO World Heritage listed Rock Islands Southern Lagoon Conservation Area (RISL), where birds tend to construct their incubation mounds in the low lying, sandy littoral zones of lifted limestone islands.  The vast majority of mounds are well within 100 meters of shore and often less than 1 meter above high tide.  To investigate the threat of SLR to this population of megapodes, I collected accurate locations (with Differential GPS) of 198 mounds in the RISL.  The effect of three Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) scenarios of SLR (0.52 m, 0.98 m, and 1.9 m eustatic rise) will be evaluated in ArcGIS through passive inundation modelling.  I also collected habitat data at 24 incubation mounds and 62 foraging sites (and at an equal number of randomly chosen sites for each) across eight islands to determine essential or “critical habitat” for the species in the RISL. Variables at mounds and foraging sites will be analysed via Linear Discriminant Analysis to separate them from random sites to determine what, if any, aspects of habitat used by megapodes may be particularly important to them.  Results of these analyses will then be used with those of SLR modelling to locate areas of potential refugia from SLR for the species in the Palau archipelago.  Like species occurring on all islands once visited by humans, megapodes in Palau face not only the stochastic effects of climate change, but also deterministic impacts from invasive predators introduced relatively recently by humans.  To assess the impact of additive stressors on megapodes in the RISL, I surveyed rats and megapodes on ten islands, five of which receive high levels of tourist pressure and five that receive little to none.  The resulting data will be used to determine any correlation between rat and megapode populations in the RISL, and any effect of human presence on both.  The megapode in Palau is considered an ideal model for understanding the effect of climate change on the avifauna of low lying oceanic islands.  It may also be considered an umbrella species, with any mitigating actions and protections afforded to it equally benefiting other species with which it co-occurs.  Through collaborative working relationships with both governmental and non-governmental organizations, my project strives to provide data necessary to mitigate for projected SLR, inform the management of tourist activities, and facilitate the control or elimination of invasive rats in the Rock Islands of Palau.

Qualifications

  • M.Sc. Biology (Avian Ecology), Arkansas State University (USA), December 2002.  Thesis title: Nest box use, post-fledging habitat use and dispersal of Barn Owls (Tyto alba) in the Delta Region of Arkansas.
  • B.Sc. Biology (Minor, Geography), University of Wisconsin–Oshkosh (USA), December 1995.

Awards and Recognition

  • October 2016, Grant – AUD 6,552 (USD 5,000); World Pheasant Association research award.
  • June 2016, Grant – AUD 1,000: ECU School of Science, Postgraduate Student Support Award.
  • November 2015, Grant – AUD 7,044 (USD 5,000); Club 300 Bird Protection research award.
  • August 2015, Grant – AUD 11,175 (GBP 5,000); Rufford Foundation Small Grants for Conservation research award.
  • November 2014, Scholarship: Edith Cowan University Post-Graduate Research Scholarship (International).
  • December 2004, Award: U.S. Department of Agriculture Certificate of Appreciation, “For outstanding contributions to the Spotted Owl module of the Plumas – Lassen study.”
  • May 2000, Grant – USD 1,000.  Arkansas Audubon Trust small research grant.
  • May 2000, Award: Student Subscription Award and Membership, Cooper Ornithological Society.
  • December 1999, Grant – USD 20,000.  Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.  Primary funding for M.Sc. research on Barn Owls.
  • April 1994, Award: Leslie-Allen Fellowship for outstanding achievements as an undergraduate student in biology at the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh.

Research

Research Interests

Essentially birds, and various aspects thereof, including;

  • Population, behavioural, and conservation ecology of terrestrial landbirds
  • Effects of climate change on island landbirds, particularly those of oceanic islands
  • Taxonomy and species distributions
  • Speciation and biogeography

Past Research employment history

  • January 2007 – October 2014: Wildlife Biologist / Ornithologist, Division of Fish and Wildlife, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Saipan, USA.
  • August – December 2006: Research Fellow, Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology, University of Minnesota, USA.
  • January 1999 – May 2002: M.Sc. Student, Biology Department, Arkansas State University, USA.

Other work

  • March 2013 – Present: eBird Volunteer Regional Reviewer.  Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York, USA.
  • April – August 2006: Spotted Owl Crew Leader.  US National Park Service, Mount Rainier National Park, Longmire, Washington, USA.
  • October – December 2005: Project Ornithologist.  Conservation International, Washington, DC, USA, and BirdLife International, Cambridge, UK.
  • October 2004 – October 2005: Wildlife Biologist.  California Condor Recovery Program, U.S. National Park Service, Pinnacles National Monument (PNM), Paicines, California, USA.
  • April – September 2004: Seasonal Spotted Owl Biologist.  U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station, Davis, California, USA.
  • December 2002 – October 2003: Wildlife Biologist/Consultant.  Thunderbird Wildlife Consultants, Inc., Gillette, Wyoming, USA.
  • October 2002, August – November 1998, 1997, 1995, 1994, and 1993: Volunteer Raptor Bander. Cedar Grove Ornithological Research Station, Cedar Grove, Wisconsin, USA.
  • May – August 2002: Avian Ecologist/Crew Leader.  The Nature Conservancy (TNC), Sycan Marsh Preserve, Klamath Falls, Oregon, USA.
  • May – August 1999: Avian Field Biologist/Crew Leader.  Department of Wildlife, Humboldt State University, Arcata, California, USA, and The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), North American Program, Portland, Oregon, USA.
  • May – September 1998: Avian Field Biologist.  Humboldt State University, Arcata, California, USA, and WCS.
  • June 1997: Contract Wildlife Consultant.  Unimin Corporation, Portage, Wisconsin, USA.
  • March – May 1997: Spotted Owl Field Biologist.  U.S. Geological Survey, Colorado Plateau Research Station, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, Arizona, USA.
  • August – November 1996: Volunteer Raptor Bander.  Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory, Duluth, Minnesota, USA.
  • April – August 1996: Avian Field Biologist.  Sustainable Ecosystems Institute, Meridian, Idaho, USA.
  • September 1993 – January 1996: Curator of Birds and Mammals and Botanical Specimen Preparer.  Student Aid Work-Study Program, University of Wisconsin–Oshkosh, Oshkosh, Wisconsin, USA.
  • May – August 1995: Spotted Owl Field Biologist.  U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forestry Sciences Laboratory, Corvallis, Oregon, USA.
  • May – August 1994: Banding Intern.  Institute for Bird Populations, Point Reyes Station, California, USA.
  • June 1993: Volunteer Avian Research Assistant.  Richter Museum, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA.

Past Teaching

  • January 1999 – May 2002: Teaching Assistant, Arkansas State University, Jonesboro, Arkansas, USA.  Instructed lab sections in General Biology, Botany, and General Ecology.
  • May 1997: Teaching Assistant, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh (University of Wisconsin Outreach Program), Oshkosh, Wisconsin, USA.  Assisted with a field oriented course in ornithology / bird identification offered to the general public.

Recent Publications

Journal Article

  • Radley, P.M., R.A Davis, R.W.J.R. Dekker, S.W. Molloy, D. Blake, R. Heinsohn.  (in review).   The Unique Vulnerability of Indo-Pacific Scrubfowl (Megapodiidae, Aves) to Climate Change.  Environmental Conservation.
  • Ha, J., J.B. Cruz, S. Kremer, V.A. Camacho, P. Radley.  (in press).  Trends in Avian Roadside Surveys, 1991 – 2010, on Saipan, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.  Pacific Science
  • Shriner, S.A., J.J. Root, K.P. Huyvaert, N.L. Mooers, M.W. Hopken, A.J. Piaggio, D.S. Vice, J.B. Flores, A.B. Franklin, P.M. Radley.  (in press).  Avian malaria in the Mariana Islands and potential conservation implications. Journal of Wildlife Diseases
  • Saracco, J.F., P. Radley, P. Pyle, E. Rowan, R. Taylor, and L. Helton.  2016. Linking vital rates of landbirds on a tropical island to rainfall and vegetation greenness.  PlosONE 11(2): e0148570. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0148570
  • Richard J. Camp, Kevin W. Brinck, P. Marcos Gorresen, Fred A. Amidon, Paul M. Radley, S. Paul Berkowitz, and Paul C. Banko.  2015. Current Land Bird Distribution and Trends in Population Abundance Between 1982 and 2012 on Rota, Mariana Islands.  Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management: December 2015, Vol. 6, No. 2, pp. 511-540. http://dx.doi.org/10.3996/112014-JFWM-085
  • Amidon, F., R.J. Camp, A.P. Marshall, T.K. Pratt, L. Williams, P. Radley, and T. de Cruz.  2014.  Terrestrial bird population trends on Aguiguan (Goat Island), Mariana Islands. Bird Conservation International, Available on CJO 2014 doi: 10.1017/S0959270914000021.
  • CABI. 2012.  Black Drongo Dicrurus macrocercus [original text by P.M. Radley].  In: Invasive Species Compendium.  Wallingford, UK: CAB International. http://www.cabi.org/isc.
  • Radley, P.M., A.L. Crary, P. Pyle, J.E. Bradley, and C. Carter.  2011. Molt patterns, biometrics, and age and sex determination of landbirds on Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands.  Wilson Journal of Ornithology 123: 588-594.

Conference Publications/ Presentations

  • Radley, P., J. Saracco, P. Pyle. E. Rowan, and D. Kaschube.  2014. An Investigation of the Vital Rates of Landbird Populations on Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands. Poster.  International Ornithological Congress, Tokyo, Japan.
  • Radley, P., and F. Amidon.  2012.  Conservation Introduction as a Preemptive Management Strategy for the Avifauna of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.  Invited presentation at the symposium “Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program in the Pacific.” The Wildlife Society annual conference, Portland, Oregon, USA.
  • Amidon, F., A.P. Marshall, P. Radley, E. VanderWerf.  2012. Summary of Five Years of Post-delisting Monitoring of the Tinian Monarch.  Presentation.  Hawaii Conservation Conference, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA.
  • Marshall, A.P., F. Amidon, R.J. Camp, and P. Radley.  2011. Nightingale Reed-warbler Surveys in the Mariana Archipelago.  Presentation.  American Ornithologists Union annual meeting, Jacksonville, Florida, USA.
  • Radley, P., A. Crary, J. Bradley, C. Carter, and P. Pyle. 2010.  Molt Patterns and Age and Sex Determination of Landbirds on Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands.  Presentation (given by second author).  Association of Field Ornithologists annual conference at Ogden, Utah, USA.
  • Radley, P.M.  2009. The First Species Conservation Introduction in the Northern Mariana Islands: Translocation of Bridled White-eyes (Zosterops conspicillatus) to Sarigan from Saipan.  Poster.  American Ornithologist Union annual meeting, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.
  • Burt, J., and P.M. Radley.  2009.  A Low-cost Aerial Radio Tracking System for Avian Conservation: Preliminary Results.  Poster (given by second author).  American Ornithologist Union annual meeting, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.
  • Amidon, F., A.P. Marshall, R. Camp, E. VanderWerf, P. Radley, M. Zablan.  2009.  Post-delisting Monitoring of the Tinian Monarch (Monarcha takatsukasea). Poster.  Hawaii Conservation Conference, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA.
  • Bednarz, J.C., D. Ripper, P.M. Radley.  2002. Primary conveners of the symposium “Ecology of Cavity Nesters: Keystone Processes,” 3rd North American Ornithological Conference, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA.
  • Radley, P.M.  2002. Conservation Needs and Habitat Use of Post-fledging Barn Owls (Tyto alba pratincola) in Arkansas. Presentation.  3rd North American Ornithological Conference, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA.
  • Radley, P.M.  2001. Home Range and Habitat Use of Fledgling Barn Owls (Tyto alba pratincola) in the Delta Region of Arkansas.  Presentation.  Raptor Research Foundation annual meeting, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
  • Radley, P.M.  2000. Habitat Use and Home Range of Fledgling Barn Owls (Tyto alba pratincola) in the Delta Region of Arkansas.  Presentation.  Raptor Research Foundation annual meeting, Jonesboro, Arkansas, USA.
  • Radley, P.M.  1999. Seasonal Variation in Mass and Size of Saw-whet Owls (Aegolius acadicus) during Autumn Migration at Cedar Grove, Wisconsin.  Poster. Raptor Research Foundation annual meeting, La Paz, Mexico.
  •  
  • Radley, P., J. Saracco, P. Pyle. E. Rowan, and D. Kaschube.  2014. An Investigation of the Vital Rates of Landbird Populations on Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands. Poster.  International Ornithological Congress, Tokyo, Japan.
  • Radley, P., and F. Amidon.  2012.  Conservation Introduction as a Preemptive Management Strategy for the Avifauna of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.  Invited presentation at the symposium “Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program in the Pacific.” The Wildlife Society annual conference, Portland, Oregon, USA.
  • Amidon, F., A.P. Marshall, P. Radley, E. VanderWerf.  2012. Summary of Five Years of Post-delisting Monitoring of the Tinian Monarch.  Presentation.  Hawaii Conservation Conference, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA.
  • Marshall, A.P., F. Amidon, R.J. Camp, and P. Radley.  2011. Nightingale Reed-warbler Surveys in the Mariana Archipelago.  Presentation.  American Ornithologists Union annual meeting, Jacksonville, Florida, USA.
  • Radley, P., A. Crary, J. Bradley, C. Carter, and P. Pyle. 2010.  Molt Patterns and Age and Sex Determination of Landbirds on Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands.  Presentation (given by second author).  Association of Field Ornithologists annual conference at Ogden, Utah, USA.
  • Radley, P.M.  2009. The First Species Conservation Introduction in the Northern Mariana Islands: Translocation of Bridled White-eyes (Zosterops conspicillatus) to Sarigan from Saipan.  Poster.  American Ornithologist Union annual meeting, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.
  • Burt, J., and P.M. Radley.  2009.  A Low-cost Aerial Radio Tracking System for Avian Conservation: Preliminary Results.  Poster (given by second author).  American Ornithologist Union annual meeting, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.
  • Amidon, F., A.P. Marshall, R. Camp, E. VanderWerf, P. Radley, M. Zablan.  2009.  Post-delisting Monitoring of the Tinian Monarch (Monarcha takatsukasea). Poster.  Hawaii Conservation Conference, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA.
  • Bednarz, J.C., D. Ripper, P.M. Radley.  2002. Primary conveners of the symposium “Ecology of Cavity Nesters: Keystone Processes,” 3rd North American Ornithological Conference, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA.
  • Radley, P.M.  2002. Conservation Needs and Habitat Use of Post-fledging Barn Owls (Tyto alba pratincola) in Arkansas. Presentation.  3rd North American Ornithological Conference, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA.
  • Radley, P.M.  2001. Home Range and Habitat Use of Fledgling Barn Owls (Tyto alba pratincola) in the Delta Region of Arkansas.  Presentation.  Raptor Research Foundation annual meeting, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
  • Radley, P.M.  2000. Habitat Use and Home Range of Fledgling Barn Owls (Tyto alba pratincola) in the Delta Region of Arkansas.  Presentation.  Raptor Research Foundation annual meeting, Jonesboro, Arkansas, USA.
  • Radley, P.M.  1999. Seasonal Variation in Mass and Size of Saw-whet Owls (Aegolius acadicus) during Autumn Migration at Cedar Grove, Wisconsin.  Poster. Raptor Research Foundation annual meeting, La Paz, Mexico.

Supervisors


Contact

Mr Paul Radley
PhD Student
Centre for Ecosystem Management
School of Science
Email: pradley@our.ecu.edu.au

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