Preserving Biodiversity in Samoa

Preserving Biodiversity in Samoa

The tropical rainforest of the Samoan islands is home to two unique species of bird found nowhere else on earth: the Ma’oma’o and the Manumea. These Sa-moan endemics rely on the biodiversity of their tropical forest habitat for survival; however their very survival is far from certain as both species have declined drastically in the last decade.

Both the Ma’oma’o and the Manumea are listed as endangered on the IUCN red list of globally threatened species.

This means that if no action is taken to halt the decline in populations of these unique species, it is expected that they will become extinct. Although listed as endangered by the IUCN, little is known about the ecology of these species in the wild and the reasons for their decline. This means that scientists and policy makers have had little or no information on the breeding rates, food species or main predators of either bird species. Without

this information, it is not possible to determine which management techniques would reverse the decline of either species.

The Mao and Manumea project is conducting important research into why these species are declining and is working with the local government to develop conservation recovery plans. For this project, we are contributing to the research costs in support of our former employee Rebecca Stirnemann.