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William C. Pitt


Dr. William C. Pitt ,
Research Wildlife Biologist

Dr. William C. Pitt is the field station and project leader for the USDA APHIS Wildlife Services, National Wildlife Research Center (NWRC) Hilo, HI, Field Station. His research focuses on wildlife populations, population modeling, and animal behavior of a variety of animals including rodents, snakes, lizards, amphibians, birds and mammalian predators. He completed an MS degree at Utah State University investigating the foraging behavior of piscivorous birds. His Ph.D. in wildlife ecology is from Utah State University where he studied population dynamics and foraging behaviors of grassland predators at Cedar Creek LTER site in Minnesota. After a postdoctoral appointment developing coyote population models at the NWRC's Logan, UT, field station, he moved to NWRC's Hilo, HI, field station in 2002.

Dr. Pitt directs a diverse research program on invasive species throughout the Pacific Basin. He combines expertise on wildlife populations and behavior to reduce the effects of invasive terrestrial vertebrates (including rodents, mongoose, brown treesnakes, and tree frogs) on natural resources, economics, and human health and safety. Recently, he has directed projects on the environmental effects of rodenticides on island ecosystems in Palmyra Atoll, developed pesticides to reduce environmental risk in Guam and Hawaii, assessed the potential wildlife and human health effects from anticoagulant rodenticide use, developed methods to reduce the use of rodenticides for conservation of endangered species in Palau and Hawaii, and assessed the effects of invasive species across Micronesia. In addition to his appointment at NWRC, Dr. Pitt serves as an adjunct/affiliate faculty member at University of Hawaii and Utah State University.

NWRC Research Project: Methods and Strategies to Manage Invasive Species Impacts to Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Human Health and Safety

Current Research

  • Evaluation of rodenticides
  • Development of mongoose lures
  • Evaluation of invasive bird impacts
  • Determination of rodenticide residues
  • Evaluation of frog pesticides


  • Ph.D., Utah State University, Ecology . "Interactions among vertebrate predators and invertebrate prey in a temperate grassland."
  • M.S., Utah State University, Wildlife Ecology, " Evaluation of wildlife depredation at fish hatcheries in the Intermountain West"
  • B.S., University of Minnesota, Fish and Wildlife Biology

International Experience

  • Pacific Basin (rodenticides)
  • Middle East (wildlife health hazards)
  • Central and South America (health hazards)
  • Canada (ungulate biology)

Contact Information

  • Address: Wildlife Services, NWRC Hawaii Field Station, P.O. Box 10880, Hilo, Hawaii 96721
  • Telephone: 808-961-4482 ext. 22
  • Fax: 808-961-4776
  • E-mail: Will.Pitt@aphis.usda.gov

Recent Publications

Shiels, A.B., W.C. Pitt, R.T. Sugihara, and G.W. Witmer. 2014. Biology and impacts of Pacific Island invasive species. 11. The Black Rat, Rattus rattus (Rodentia: Muridae). Pacific Science 68(2): 145-184. doi: 10.2984/68.2.1.

Pitt, W.C., G.W. Witmer, S.M. Jojola, and H. Sin. 2014. Potential citric acid exposure and toxicity to Hawaiian hoary bats (Lasiurus cinereus semotus) associated with Eleutherodactylus frog control. Ecotoxicology 23(3): 429-436. doi: 10.1007/s10646-014-1208-8.

Berentsen, A.R., W.C. Pitt, J.D. Eisemann, R.M. Engeman. 2014. Longevity of rodenticide bait pellets in a tropical environment following a rat eradication program. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, online. doi: 10.1007/s11356-013-2148-1.

Engeman, R.M., W.C. Pitt, A.R. Berentsen and J.D. Eisemann. 2013. Assessing spatial variation and overall density of aerially broadcast toxic bait during a rat eradication on Palmyra Atoll. Environmental Science and Pollution Research Institute. 20:480–487. DOI 10.1007/s11356-012-1050-6.

Lepczyk, C.A., S. Conant, D. Duffy, D.M. Bird, M.Calver, F.P. Duval, M..Hutchins, C.A. Lohr, K.A. Loyd, P.P. Marra, W.C. Pitt, G. Sizemore, R. Sprague, S.A. Temple, Y. Van Heezik, and G. Wallace. 2013. Feral cat management (Letter). Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 243(10): 1391-1392. doi: 10.2460/javma 243:10:1391.



Additional Information