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 BS in Environmental Science from Trinity College and his MS 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 her BS in Wildlife Biology and Management from Michigan State University. She has 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. Alex has worked on a variety of research projects through the years, with an emphasis on large mammal tracking using satellite and GPS technology, and recently aided Polar Oceans Research Group for a season of Antarctic seabird monitoring and tracking. Alex began her career in Hawai'i as a Technician on the Hono o Na Pali Searbird Mitigation Predator Control Team in early 2016, and then Project Specialist from mid 2016 until 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. 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 fiancee and pup, and cooks incredible dishes to share with friends and family.
Spencer has been working in the field of invasive species management for the past 5 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. He's proven a quick teach on the mammal-side of invasive species work, and has quickly become an essential member of the crew. When not in the mountains, you can find Spencer on the basketball court where he plays a mean game of one-on-one.
Kim 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 learning to SCUBA dive.
Sarah hails from the great state of Texas where she earned her BS in Wildlife Ecology from Texas A&M University. She began her trapping career capturing Black-footed ferrets, mice, and prairie dogs for research with Arizona Game and Fish. In addition, Sarah aided the Mexican Gray Wolf Reintroduction Project, where she trapped wolves and tracked them using GPS/VHF collars. She then continued her work with wolves into early 2020 through USFWS, where she assisted with helicopter captures, GPS tracking, and wolf monitoring. Her experience has put a variety of trapping know-how in her back pocket. Sarah's a fast learner: anything new we teach her, she masters within an hour. Watch out for this one, folks. In her free time Sarah is exploring Kauai's beaches, backpacking, surfing, cruising on a motorcycle, and generally making us all look like slackers.
Predator Control Specialists
Hunter 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. She has also become the impromptu office mouse manager, keeping "little miss" happy, exercised, and ready for field work.
Tessa spent her academic years studying amphibians. After studying salamanders in Pennsylvania during her Bachelor’s degree, Tessa followed her passion for herps through a MSc in Tropical Biodiversity and Ecosystems, during which she researched an endemic toad from Guyana. Upon her return to the United States, Tessa joined the Kupu AmeriCorps program in Hawaii and discovered that birds are just as cool as herps. Protecting the vulnerable Hawaiian endemic birds became a priority for Tessa and inspired her to focus on invasive species control. In her free time, Tessa enjoys exploring the oceans through free diving and surfing, and plays a mean game of cribbage.
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 is currently finishing up her Master's degree from Jan 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.
Kūpono 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 patches, where he learned Native 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. As the newest member of the team, he's striving to master all the trapping techniques and is itching to get into the field and appy his skills.