Erik I. Johnson

Director of Bird Conservation, Audubon Louisiana

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 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. Erik lives in Lafayette, Louisiana.

Articles by Erik I. Johnson

Barrier Islands: A Critical Restoration Project for People and Birds
News

Barrier Islands: A Critical Restoration Project for People and Birds

— Managing Barrier Islands to Maximize their Benefits to Birds
Spring migration has begun!
News

Spring migration is upon us!

— Here are a few things you can expect to see in Louisiana.
Meet the Cutest Member of the Rail Family - The Yellow Rail!
News

Meet the Cutest Member of the Rail Family - The Yellow Rail!

— This secretive bird is rarely seen and hard to find, except when it migrates to southwest Louisiana during the fall “ratoon” rice harvest and can be seen flushing from the rice fields.
Barrier Island Restoration: An Investment in Coastal Louisiana’s Future and for Nesting Seabirds
News

Barrier Island Restoration: An Investment in Coastal Louisiana’s Future and for Nesting Seabirds

— Louisiana Barrier Islands: A Coastal Restoration Success Story
BP's Sleight of Hand
Newsroom

BP's Sleight of Hand

— A BP-authored report claiming that the Gulf has recovered is inaccurate and insulting—here’s why.