Thanks to my sister Michelle McIlroy for designing the logo!


Ever since I was a child, I have been very interested in nature and the environment. I have a B.S. degree in wildlife biology, and have worked as a zookeeper, wildlife biologist, and ecologist. I am conducting a brief survey of world leaders, government officials, religious leaders, corporate CEOs, environmental groups, wildlife experts, and others regarding nature and the environment. I am also very interested in religious views, customs, and beliefs from around the world, and the interactions between religion, culture, society, and the environment. This is something I am doing out of personal interest, and is not connected to any group or organization. I have been working on this project since the summer of 2006, and hope to eventually turn it into a book and/or documentary. I am hoping to make this into a global project, with responses from all segments of society. Feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions or comments. If you have not already done so, I hope that you will consider taking part in my project, and please spread the word to anyone you think might be interested! Thanks for stopping by!


December 27, 2007

Norma Bustos

Wildlife Program Specialist – Hawaii Division of Forestry & Wildlife

Today’s Date: 13 December 2007

1. What interaction with an animal and/or nature in your life has had the biggest impact on you?

I grew up on the windward side of the island of Oahu next to the ocean and would say that the ocean has had the biggest impact on my life. Living in an island state, I have much appreciation for the ocean and what it provides our islands in terms of stable weather, food resources and recreational opportunities. As a paddler, surfer, diver, snorkeler, and swimmer I have respect for the power of the ocean and the beauty of it. As a zoologist, I admire its creatures and enjoy the diversity of life found within its realm.

2. Did you have a favorite place in the great outdoors during your childhood?

My favorite place outdoors during my childhood was Kailua Beach. I can vividly remember the many afternoons spent with family and friends playing on the sand, in the water and lying under the coconut trees watching the clouds go by.

Now? My favorite place is still the ocean. I love going for a paddle past the Mokulua Islands and surfing out at my favorite spot on the west side of the island of Kauai.

3. As a former zookeeper, I would love to know what your favorite animal is and why?

My favorite animals are the Hawaiian Honeycreepers. A subfamily of forest birds found only here in our islands. From a single finch ancestor dozens of species evolved to fill the different ecological niches. Unfortunately, these birds are one of the most extreme examples of extinction resulting from human activities. Introduced rats, cats, disease and loss of habitat have contributed to their decline.

4. What do you think is the greatest environmental challenge facing us now, and what do you think will be the greatest challenge in the future?

Living in an island State that faces an extinction crisis due in large part to introduced species I would say that invasive/introduced species are the greatest environmental challenge facing us now. From zebra mussels to exotic grasses to the brown tree snake, introduced and invasive species are causing billions of dollars in damage to both natural and man-made resources nation-wide.

5. If you could give one piece of advice regarding the environment and our natural resources, what would it be?

If I had to give one piece of advice to everyone regarding the environment and our natural resources I would advise that people get involved locally. I love that saying “think global, act local.” If we all acted locally, the global problems might just work themselves out.

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