Friday, October 22, 2021

Birds of Uvea (Wallis), Futuna and Alofi islands (South-West Pacific): an update

TitleBirds of Uvea (Wallis), Futuna and Alofi islands (South-West Pacific): an update
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsThibault, J-C, Cibois, A, Meyer, J-Y
Type of ArticleFull Article
KeywordsAlofi, bird fauna, Futuna, population trends, Uvea, Wallis

Alofi, Futuna and Uvea (also called Wallis), 3 islands situated north of Fiji and Tonga archipelagos, are rarely visited by ornithologists. We present new data on the avifauna obtained during surveys in 2014 and we compare them with previous surveys made in the 1920s, 1980s and 1990s. We recorded the extirpation of 1 species (friendly ground-dove, Alopecoenas stairi) probably related to predation, and the decline of another (lesser shrikebill, Clytorhynchus vitiensis) linked to deforestation. Although the recent arrival of the black rat (Rattus rattus) in Futuna is a potential threat for the blue-crowned lorikeet (Vini australis), no decline is apparent at the present time. In general, most landbirds seemed common despite loss of native habitats and hunting pressure; similarly, the seabird populations and number of species appeared stable, a situation probably linked with the general decrease of harvesting. Finally, 2 breeding species (spotless crake, Zapornia tabuensis, and tropical shearwater, Puffinus bailloni) and 3 vagrants (white-faced heron, Egretta novaehollandiae, masked lapwing, Vanellus miles, and pectoral sandpiper, Calidris melanotos) are added to the list.

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