Predator Control for the Protection of Imperiled Species & Island Ecosystems
Hallux Ecosystem Restoration LLC is a locally owned and operated predator control company on the island of Kaua’i, Hawai’i. We are a team of invasive predator control experts, wildlife biologists, and NWCOA Certified Wildlife Control Operators, dedicated to the protection of native species and ecosystems, and the prevention of cruelty to animals. Our work focuses on the protection of threatened and endangered seabirds in both the remote mountainous wilderness areas and the coastal preserves of Kaua’i. We pride ourselves in developing and applying advanced methods and techniques to most effectively and efficiently manage and remove invasive predators, using a combination of best available science, years of experience, and traditional trapping knowledge.
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Hallux Ecosystem Restoration LLC is an Associate member of NWCOA, and is owned by a NWCOA Certified Wildlife Control Operator
MEET THE TEAM
Owners / Lead Biologists
KYLE PIAS, M.S.
Director of Operations & Co-Founder
NWCOA SinSE Certified Urban Sharpshooter
Kyle earned his B.S. in Environmental Science from Trinity College and his M.S. in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation from the University of Florida. His Master’s work focused on the foraging ecology of the endangered snail kite in Florida. He has worked on a broad variety of avian conservation research projects, ranging from crested caracara in Florida, to island scrub jays in California, and the conservation of Kauai's critically endangered 'Akikiki, 'Akeke'e, and Puaiohi. In his search for better protection for the imperiled species he studied, Kyle's fledgling interest in predator control grew to a career path. Kyle was Coordinator of the Hono o Na Pali Seabird Mitigation Predator control team from 2015 until founding Hallux Ecosystem Restoration with Alex in 2019.
Science Director, Co-Founder
NWCOA Wildlife Control Operator
NWCOA SinSE Certified Urban Sharpshooter
Alex obtained a B.S. in Wildlife Biology and Management from Michigan State University. They have an extensive background in managing wildlife trapping for conservation research projects, specifically large carnivores and invasive mammalian species both in the Midwest and Hawai'i with an emphasis on animal movement behavior, diet, and disease ecology. Alex has worked on a variety of research projects through the years, including stable isotope analysis of seabird foraging behavior, black bear movement behavior, feral swine disease ecology, and Antarctic seabird ecology and foraging behavior. Alex began her career in Hawai'i as a technician on the Hono o Na Pali Seabird Mitigation Predator Control team in early 2016, and then Project Specialist from mid 2016, finally founding Hallux Ecosystem Restoration with Kyle in 2019.
Senior Associate Biologist
Emory Griffin-Noyes developed a love of conservation early in life and he began volunteering at a native plant nursery as a teen. Over the years he has worked to promote native species by removing invasive species (plant and animal), reforestation of native trees and establishment of critically endangered species. Emory has been working with the Hono o Na Pali Seabird Mitigation Predator Control team since 2016, and has developed into a skilled trapper with unmatched attention to detail. Along with his other duties, Emory manages our Barn Owl control programs and internal training, ensuring everyone is prepared for a day in the field. Anyone hiking with Emory soon finds out that he can't contain his love for the native biota as he points out his favorite plants and animals observed along the trail. When not at work, Emory tends his gardens and orchids, spends time with his husband and pup, and cooks incredible dishes to share with friends and family.
Spencer is the managing biologist for the Upper Honopu Predator Control and Eradication Project and has been working in the field of invasive species management for the past 7 years. After earning his BA in Environmental Studies at DePaul University, he has worked on a variety of invasive plant management projects across the mid-west and east coast. From early invasive plant detection, to program coordination and mobile invasive plant removal, he has both breadth and depth of invasive species experience. In addition to years of demanding field work, Spencer also has a background in education, outreach, and data analyses. When not in the mountains, you can find Spencer on the basketball court where he plays a mean game of one-on-one.
Kim is the managing biologist for the Koke'e Air Force Seabird Mitigation Project and hails from the east coast, where she attended Rutgers University in New Jersey. At Rutgers she earned a BS in Environmental Science, writing an honors thesis titled "Changes in Soil Physical Properties as a Result of Exposure to Elevated Carbon Dioxide Concentrations." Kim's extensive resume details experience in bird banding, acoustic monitoring, conducting Environmental Assessments, bird behavior research, forest dynamics research, mosquito trapping, and rodent trapping. Her work monitoring endangered forest bird species with the Kaua'i Forest Bird Recovery Project inspired her to continue working on Kaua'i to protect native species through predator control. With her sharp eye for detail, fierce determination to master techniques, and creative energy, Kim has been elevating the trapping game for our team from day 1. Kim has a passion for wildlife and spends her free time bird-watching, snorkeling to look for marine invertebrates, and SCUBA diving.
Hunter is the managing biologist for the County Habitat Conservation Plan Predator Control project. He was born and raised on the island of Kaua’i which has instilled a deep sense of kuleana to protect the native flora and fauna of the island that has raised him. Anyone who knows Hunter knows that he is the hardest worker around, and will go out of his way to make sure everyone on the crew is taken care of. Though newer to the predator control field, Hunter is no stranger to wildlife protection having worked on several cultural and ecosystem restoration projects. His extensive experience with invasive plant control and native species restoration here on Kaua’i have made him a perfect fit for the team. Hunter is an voracious learner, and has quickly made himself one of the team's go-to trap experts. When not at work, Hunter can be found fishing, freediving, smoking meats, and being woken up every morning at 5am by his energetic rescue dog Pohu.
Kara hails from the great lake state of Wisconsin, where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Biology and Natural Resources from Northland College. Kara boasts a broad background in avian, aquatic, and mammal research. She's studied everything from gray fox behavior and Scaled and Gambel's Quail to migrating raptors, and species present at public boat launches. She also has an impressive resume of bird banding experience, and was most recently a field assistant on the Kaua'i Forest Bird Recovery Project. Kara is a sponge for field skills and has easily adapted to predator control work. She accepts challenges with enthusiasm, and is an absolute delight to spend time with. Kara has that rare set of skills for doing excellent work and having fun simultaneously- she's a gem.
Katie is no stranger to seabird research and conservation. She has studied seabirds in remote places around the world, including Hawaii, New Zealand, and the Farallon islands. Her work has focused on mitigating the effects of invasive species on seabird populations. Katie earned her Master's degree from San Jose State University, where she her thesis focuses on Western Gull foraging behavior and the potential impacts of the use of toxicant baits in a proposed rodent eradication project. She's been able to convert her gull trapping skills to invasive mammals, and is tenacious in her desire to learn each new trap to perfection. Katie's field skills as well as data analysis experience have quickly made her an essential part of the team, both in the office and in the seabird colonies. In her free time Katie enjoys trail running in Kokee with her spunky husky Mango.
Predator Control Specialists
Kūpono is our Invasive Honey Bee Specialist in addition to being a predator control specialist. He is from Kaua'i and Oahu, and earned his Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Oregon State University. Prior to entering the conservation field, Kūpono played professional rugby for USA National Men's Eagles (Sevens) and the San Diego Breakers. As a professional athlete, he traveled the world to play rugby and trained constantly, but still managed to make time for school. His teammates were always in awe of his work ethic. Kūpono began his career in conservation working in kalo lo'i, where he learned Hawaiian farming and sustainability practices. He has also volunteered his time removing invasive plants with DLNR and Paepae O He'eia. Prior to working with us, Kūpono worked on constructing complex predator proof fences across the Hawaiian islands for the protection of native species. In his free time Kūpono enjoys tending to his own kalo, fishing, and spending time with his family.
Aliana, Kaua'i born and raised, earned a B.A. in Anthropology from Haverford College. Since the age of 5 Ali has been a volunteer with the Nā Pali Coast ʻOhana to restore the cultural heritage site of Nu'alolo Kai, as well as a volunteer with Protect Kaho‘olawe ‘Ohana. Never one to waste free time, they also volunteer regularly at the Alakoko Fishpond restoration to remove invasive mangrove and rebuild the pond. Once a competitive pellet gun shooter, Ali is a killer asset to the crew, especially on hunting trips. You can also catch Ali at sea either sailing solo or helping with sailing lessons for adults and kids alike.
JB was born and raised here on Kaua'i. Growing up spending so much time outside he has immense respect and appreciation for native species. JB has a broad set of skills ranging from computer science and data collection to landscaping and operating heavy machinery. While new to the predator control world, JB is no stranger to hacking it in the rainforest and camping on the mountains. Already he has made a reputation for being good at pretty much everything he tries. JB is happiest when he's working outside and his passion for conservation is infectious. He is both a predator control specialist and native plant restoration specialist with our team.
Leah earned her Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and Resource management at the University of Washington. After working on a variety of projects focusing on invasive plant removal, native wildlife monitoring, small mammal trapping, and citizen science from Washington to Alaska, Leah made her foray into Hawai'i conservation as a Kupu AmeriCorps intern at Kauai's National Wildlife Reserve Complex. While working on the refuges she monitored wetland birds and seabirds, conducted invasive mammal control, and managed large volunteer groups. Leah continued her conservation work in Hawai'i on both Oahu and Kaua'i working on a variety of seabird and waterbird-focused projects before joining the Hallux team. Leah is incredibly positive and cheerful, keeping the team in high-spirits on the hardest field days. If you're looking to win her favor Nēnē and hot dogs are two of her most favorite things.
Emma earned her bachelor of arts from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in Environmental Studies with minors in marine sciences and social & economic justice. She has been an educator in multiple capacities around the globe, from the Bahamas to Ethiopia. Emma combined her passion for education and conservation to develop and coordinate environmental education programs for the Nature Conservancy and SouthEast Expeditions. Although new to the field of predator control, Emma is no stranger to mastering new skills, and ensures that everyone else is having as much fun as she is, no matter the weather. Ever the renaissance woman, Emma is also a yoga teacher, an artist, and a violin teacher in her free time.
Maddie hails from Michigan where she studied Fisheries and Wildlife at Michigan State University. Although plants are her passion, she has a broad range of skills including wildlife trapping, feral bee control, boat driving, vegetation restoration, and data management. Raised on a healthy diet of wilderness camping, Maddie is an animal in the field. She ventures to Kaua'i to assist with field work during the busy season but generally works remotely on data entry from her home in Colorado. In her free time she climbs, skis, tends to her orchid collection, and goes on long trail runs with her dog Goose.
Graduate Student Partners
Sarah completed her Bachelor of Science in Wildlife and Fisheries Science at Texas A&M University. After working on research projects focusing on large carnivore movement and population monitoring across the US, Sarah joined the Hallux team in 2020. Sarah worked as first a Predator Control Specialist and then Managing Biologist running our KIUC Seabird Habitat Conservation Predator Control program. In 2023 Sarah began her graduate studies with Dr. Rachel Short at South Dakota State University. We are thrilled to be partnering with Sarah on her research project as it develops. Check out her page here!