Polynesian Imperial Pigeon
This species qualifies as Endangered
because it has an extremely small population, occurring on just two
islands and being close to extinction on one of these. It appears unable
to adapt to changes in its environment and colonize new areas,
demonstrating the urgent need to conserve its habitat.
On Makatea, much of its habitat was
destroyed during the period 1917-1964, as a result of phospate mining
and, although the indigenous vegetation has recovered over the last 40
years, it probably remains limited to a small part of the island4,9.
Predation by introduced rats (particularly black rat Rattus rattus)
may be a problem2, although the species has coexisted
with rats for several decades10. On Moorea and other
formerly inhabited islands, its extinction may have been the consequence
of the spread through the
of the Swamp Harrier Circus approximans, although hunting
and forest destruction or deterioration were probably also factors1,5,8.
, a year-long
study in 1998 collected information from the inhabitants of the valleys
where it was last recorded7,10.
*On Makatea, resurvey the population4
in order to assess both numbers and distribution within primary and
regenerating forest. *On
, conduct field
surveys to confirm its presence or extirpation. *Consider captive
breeding and reintroduction.
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