Erik Johnson

Director of Bird Conservation, National Audubon Society

Erik joined Audubon in April 2011 as a Conservation Biologist for the Mississippi Flyway and Gulf Coast Initiative where he provided science-support and guidance for Audubon’s strategic planning process and building upon conservation and monitoring efforts in the region. Before coming to Audubon, Erik’s graduate work at Louisiana State University included researching the effects of forest fragmentation on Amazonian bird communities and understanding the effects of fire management on grassland birds in pine savannas of the southeastern U.S., and he has published his work in scientific journals including The Auk and Ecology. It was while finishing his dissertation when the BP oil spill shocked the Gulf Coast and in response, Erik helped develop a citizen science program across the central Gulf Coast, Audubon’s Coastal Bird Survey, which he continues to lead. Erik started his ornithological career stewarding and monitoring breeding Least Terns and Piping Plovers in Massachusetts, and has returned to these coastal roots by leading the development of a comprehensive beach-nesting bird stewardship program in Louisiana by developing partnerships with other organizations and local communities. Erik also has developed several bird monitoring initiatives at the Paul J. Rainey Audubon Sanctuary to understand the effects of management on marshbirds, supporting the science-based restoration mission of the Rainey Conservation Alliance, a collaboration among local landowners in Vermilion Parish to save coastal marshes. Erik is active in Louisiana’s birding community and serves as Louisiana’s Christmas Bird Count regional editor, a member of Louisiana’s Bird Records Committee, Vice President of Baton Rouge Audubon Society, and Co-director of the Louisiana Bird Observatory.

Peer-Reviewed Publications

JD Wolfe, RS Terrill, EI Johnson, L Powell, TB Ryder. In review. Understanding the ecological and evolutionary significance of molt in Neotropical birds.
PC Stouffer, V Jirinec, CL Rutt, RO Bierregaard, A Hernandez-Palma, EI Johnson, SR Midway, LL Powell, JD Wolfe, TE Lovejoy. In review. Long-term change in the avifauna of undisturbed Amazonian rainforests: birds disappear and the baseline shifts.
J Reese, C Viverette, CM Tonra, NJ Bayly, TJ Boves, EI Johnson, M Johnson, P Marra, EM Ames, A Caguazango, M DeSaix, A Matthews, A Molina, KL Percy, MC Slevin, L Bulluck. In press. Using stable isotopes to estimate migratory connectivity for a patchily-distributed, wetland-associated Neotropical migrant. Condor.
C Tonra, M Hallworth, T Boves, J Reese, L Bulluck, M Johnson, C Viverette, K Percy, E Ames, A Matthews, M Slevin, R Wilson, EI Johnson. 2019. Weak migratory connectivity despite contrasting routes: implications for nonbreeding conservation of a wetland songbird. Condor 121, duz019.
JV Remsen, BP Wallace, MA Seymour, DA O’Malley, EI Johnson. 2019. The regional, national, and international importance of Louisiana’s coastal avifauna. Wilson Journal of Ornithology 131:221–242.
CL Rutt, V Jirinec, EI Johnson, M Cohn-Haft, CF Vargas, PC Stouffer. 2018. Twenty years later: an update to the birds of the Biological Dynamics of Forest Fragments Project, Amazonas, Brazil. Revisa Brasileira de Ornitologia 25:277–296.
EI Johnson. 2015. Geographic variation in the extent of the preformative molt in American Goldfinches. North American Bird Bander 40.
EI Johnson, JD Wolfe. 2018. Molt and aging guide to Central Amazonian and Neotropical birds. Studies in Avian Biology. CRC Press, Taylor and Francis Group, Boca Raton, Florida.
LL Powell, JD Wolfe, EI Johnson, PC Stouffer. 2016. Forest recovery in post-pasture Amazonia: Testing a conceptual model of space use by insectivorous understory birds. Biological Conservation 194:22–30.
LL Powell, G Zurita, JD Wolfe, EI Johnson, PC Stouffer. 2015. Changes in habitat use at rain forest edges through succession: A case study of understory birds in the Brazilian Amazon. Biotropica 47: 723–732.
JD Wolfe, EI Johnson. 2015. Geolocator reveals migratory and winter movements of a Prothonotary Warbler. Journal of Field Ornithology 86: 238–243.
LL Powell, JD Wolfe, EI Johnson, JE Hines, JD Nichols, PC Stouffer. 2015. Heterogeneous movement of insectivorous Amazonian birds through primary and secondary forest: A case study using multistate models with radiotelemetry data. Biological Conservation 188: 100–108.
EI Johnson, JD Wolfe. 2014. Thamnophilidae (antbird) molt strategies in a central Amazonian rainforest. Wilson Journal of Ornithology 126: 451–462.
JD Wolfe, EI Johnson, RS Terrill. 2014. Searching for consensus in molt terminology 11 years after Howell et al.’s “first basic problem”. Auk 131: 371–377.
PC Stouffer, EI Johnson, RO Bierregaard Jr. 2013. Breeding seasonality in central Amazonian rainforest birds. Auk 130: 529–540.
LL Powell, PC Stouffer, EI Johnson. 2013. Recovery of understory bird movement across the interface of primary and secondary Amazon rainforest. Auk 130: 459–468.
EI Johnson, JD Wolfe, D Mooney. 2013. An eccentric preformative molt in Eastern Towhees. North American Bird Bander 38: 25–27.
JD Wolfe, EI Johnson, PC Stouffer, F Owens, EE DeLeon, ER Liffmann, KE Brzeski, S Utley, D Mooney, C Coco, G Grandy. 2013. Annual survival of birds captured in a habitat island bordered by the urban matrix of Baton Rouge, LA. Southeastern Naturalist 12: 492–499.
EI Johnson, PC Stouffer, RO Bierregaard Jr. 2012. The phenology of molting, breeding and their overlap in central Amazonian birds. Journal of Avian Biology 43: 141–154.
Wolfe, JD, TB Ryder, P Pyle, EI Johnson. 2012. Using molt and plumage cycles to age tropical birds: Updates and recent advances. Ornitologia Neotropical 23:169–174.
JD Wolfe, EI Johnson, ER Liffmann, EE DeLeon, K Mokross, KE Brzeski. 2012. Brown Thrasher (Toxostoma rufum) with dill deformity captured at Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Journal of Louisiana Ornithology 9: 27–28.
EI Johnson, JD Wolfe, TB Ryder, P Pyle. 2011. Modifications to a molt-based ageing system proposed by Wolfe et al. (2010). Journal of Field Ornithology 82: 422–424.
PC Stouffer, KL Cockle, A Aleixo, JI Areta, JM Barnett, A Bodrati, CD Cadena, AS Di Giacomo, SK Herzog, P Hosner, EI Johnson, LN Naka, C Sánchez. 2011. No evidence for widespread bird declines in protected South American forests. Climatic change 108: 383–386.
EI Johnson, JK Dimiceli, PC Stoufferi, ME Brooks. 2011. Habitat use does not reflect habitat quality for Henslow’s Sparrows (Ammodramus henslowii) wintering in fire-managed longleaf pine savannas. Auk 128: 564–576.
PC Stouffer, EI Johnson, RO Bierregaard Jr, TE Lovejoy. 2011. Understory bird communities in Amazonian rainforest fragments: Species turnover through 25 years post-isolation in recovering landscapes. PLoS ONE 6: e20543.
EI Johnson. 2011. Fragmentation Sensitivity and its Consequences on Demography and Host-Ectoparasite Dynamics in Amazonian Birds. Ph.D. Dissertation, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA.
M Uriarte, M Anciães, MTB Da Silva, P Rubim, EI Johnson, EM Bruna. 2011. Disentangling the drivers of reduced long-distance seed dispersal by birds in an experimentally fragmented landscape. Ecology 92: 924–937.
EI Johnson, PC Stouffer, CF Vargas. 2011. Diversity, biomass, and trophic structure of a central Amazonian rainforest bird community. Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 19: 1–16.
EI Johnson, JD Wolfe, JE Hartgerink. 2011. Barred Owl consumes Sharp-shinned Hawk. Journal of Louisiana Ornithology 88: 21–22.
EI Johnson, CF Vargas, TVV Costa, CB Andretti. 2010. A range extension and ecology of Boat-billed Tody-Tyrant Hemitriccus josephinae in central Amazonian Brazil. Bulletin of the British Ornithological Club 150: 266–272.
EI Johnson, JK DiMiceli, PC Stouffer. 2009. Timing of migration and patterns of winter settlement by Henslow’s Sparrows. Condor 111: 730–739.
JK DiMiceli, PC Stouffer, EI Johnson, C Leonardi, EB Moser. 2007. Seed preferences of wintering Henslow’s Sparrows. Condor 109: 595–604.
EI Johnson. 2006. Effects of fire on habitat associations, abundance, and survival of wintering Henslow’s Sparrows (Ammodramus henslowii) in southeastern Louisiana longleaf pine savannas. M.S. Thesis. Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA.

Technical Reports & Popular Science Publications

EI Johnson. 2018. Louisiana Coastal Stewardship Program 2017 Annual Report: Beach-nesting Bird Protection, Monitoring, and Community Outreach. National Audubon Society, Baton Rouge, LA.
EI Johnson. 2017. Louisiana Coastal Stewardship Program 2016 Annual Report: Beach-nesting Bird Protection, Monitoring, and Community Outreach. National Audubon Society, Baton Rouge, LA.
EI Johnson. 2016. Louisiana’s Coastal Stewardship Program 2015 Annual Report: Beach-nesting Bird Protection, Monitoring, and Community Outreach. National Audubon Society, Baton Rouge, LA.
EI Johnson. 2014. Louisiana’s Coastal Stewardship Program 2014 Annual Report: Beach-nesting Bird Protection, Monitoring, and Community Outreach. National Audubon Society, Baton Rouge, LA.
EI Johnson. 2012. Audubon Coastal Bird Survey, Fall 2011 Summary. National Audubon Society, Baton Rouge, LA.
JD Wolfe, EI Johnson. 2011. Louisiana’s crude awakening: how citizen scientists help monitor the effects of oil on birds. Birding 43: 48–52.
EI Johnson. 2011. Audubon Coastal Bird Survey First Annual Report. National Audubon Society, Baton Rouge, LA.
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