Cam­paign launch to save Samoa’s na­tional bird

Fiji Sun - - Pacific News - Feed­back: jy­otip@fi­jisun.com.fj RNZI

Apia: An in­ter­na­tional cam­paign is un­der­way to try and save Samoa’s na­tional bird, the manu­mea, from ex­tinc­tion. There are es­ti­mated to be just a few hun­dred of the birds left.

Called the Lit­tle Dodo be­cause it is a close rel­a­tive of the long ex­tinct Dodo, the manu­mea is de­scribed as a unique tooth-billed pi­geon.

Our cor­re­spon­dent said few Samoans have seen the

manu­mea, apart from its de­pic­tion on the coun­try’s twenty tala note and 50 sene coin.

Habi­tat de­struc­tion, rats, cats and hunt­ing has left the bird crit­i­cally en­dan­gered.

Now the Samoa Con­ser­va­tion So­ci­ety has teamed up with Auck­land Zoo and Samoa’s Min­istry of Nat­u­ral Re­sources and En­vi­ron­ment to try and save the bird.

It is get­ting help from the Dar­win Ini­tia­tive in the UK through the Aus­tralian Na­tional Univer­sity and from the NZ Gov­ern­ment’s Pa­cific De­vel­op­ment and Con­ser­va­tion Trust along with some help from Pel­gar In­ter­na­tional. Other part­ners, in­clud­ing Flinch Mar­ket­ing in New Zealand, are de­vel­op­ing a Na­tional Manu­mea Pro­tec­tion Cam­paign to re­duce the im­pact of hunt­ing on na­tive birds and to pro­tect their for­est habi­tat.

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