John Klavitter

John Klavitter currently serves as theNational Coordinator for Invasive Species, Island Restoration, and the Cooperative Recovery Initiative for the National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) System, within the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s headquarters office in Falls Church, Virginia. He leads teams that provide funding and guidance to refuges to completely eradicate invasive species and recover threatened and endangered species. In his current capacity, he co-led a translocation of endangered Laysan ducks from Midway Atoll NWR to Kure Atoll to establish a new population; was part of a US delegation that traveled to China to share information about wetland management; and helped host President Obama’s visit to Midway Atoll NWR in September 2016 to celebrate the President’s expansion of Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, making it one of the largest marine protected areas on the planet. Before his current role at headquarters, Klavitter was stationed at Midway Atoll NWR as the Refuge Biologist and the Deputy Project Leader where he helped to manage a visitor program, an airfield, a visit by First Lady Laura Bush, and habitat for a host of species including endangered Laysan ducks, short-tailed albatrosses, and 3 million seabirds. He also co-led a team that translocated endangered Laysan ducks from Laysan Island to Midway Atoll NWR to reestablish a population that once presumeably occurred there. Klavitter began his career with the Service carrying out research and recovery actions for the critically endangered Hawaiian crow (‘alala) on private lands that would become the Kona Forest Unit of Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge. He also been involved in research and wildlife management of fishery stocks in the Bering Sea, sea turtles in the Gulf of Mexico, Hawaiian Monk Seals in the Hawaiian Islands NWR and Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, invasive brown tree snakes at Guam NWR, invasive rats at Wake Atoll NWR, Hawaiian honeycreepers on the Island of Hawaii, and New Zealand fur seals in New Zealand. Klavitter received his Bachelor of Science degree from Iowa State University in Animal Ecology and his Master of Science degree in Wildlife Science from the University of Washington. He conducted his graduate research on the endangered Hawaiian hawk (‘io) to determine if the population had recovered to the level where “downlisting” or delisting” the species under the Endangered Species Act was warranted.