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Scientists spot rare relative of the dodo


Posted on Sunday, 26 January, 2014 | Comment icon 12 comments

A 19th century drawing of the Manumea. Image Credit: John Gould
Samoa's national bird, the Manumea, has finally been spotted for the first time in over ten years.
Once a common sight in the region, Manumea numbers have declined rapidly over the last two decades from 4,800 birds to only around 200. Habitat loss and hunting are the two main factors thought to be responsible for its disappearance.

"The lack of recent records suggests that all subpopulations may now be so small that the species may warrant uplisting to Critically Endangered in the near future," Birdlife International said in a statement.

Conservationists are now looking to do whatever they can to halt the species' decline and to prevent it from going the same way as its infamous cousin, the dodo, which was hunted to extinction in the 17th century.

"Our surveys are gathering critical evidence about the existing population, current distribution, breeding season and food sources," said research team leader Moeumu Uili. "This information will contribute greatly to effective conservation decision making, long-term species and habitat protection, and successful awareness education for the local communities."

Source: Phys.org | Comments (12)

Tags: Manumea, Samoa

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #3 Posted by aquatus1 on 26 January, 2014, 14:31
That thing looks less like a little dodo and more like a little vulture.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Eldorado on 26 January, 2014, 14:59
That thing looks less like a little dodo and more like a little vulture. It looks a little my ex mother-in-law!
Comment icon #5 Posted by Twin on 26 January, 2014, 21:32
Mmmmmmm Manumea.
Comment icon #6 Posted by aquatus1 on 27 January, 2014, 1:10
Why do I have the KFC theme song running through my head?
Comment icon #7 Posted by DieChecker on 27 January, 2014, 3:52
Extinct-o-lishous?
Comment icon #8 Posted by Myles on 27 January, 2014, 12:13
Wait.... Following up on anecdotal reports? I thought crypto-skeptics said that that doesn't happen? They would also say this bird does not exist because there is estimated to be only 200 members left. Which is less then is required for a breeding population. Notice that the pictures are not extremely fuzzy.
Comment icon #9 Posted by Xynoplas on 27 January, 2014, 19:01
It's rare or endangered. Not quite a cryptid, you know.
Comment icon #10 Posted by JGirl on 27 January, 2014, 19:05
Extinct-o-lishous? lollove it
Comment icon #11 Posted by Calibeliever on 27 January, 2014, 20:46
That thing looks less like a little dodo and more like a little vulture. That was my first thought.
Comment icon #12 Posted by DieChecker on 28 January, 2014, 2:46
Notice that the pictures are not extremely fuzzy. Yes, taken in a bush by bush search for the bird. Which was spurred by civilian eyewitness reports.


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