We’ve joined together to save the manumea!
Over the past several years we’ve been working with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Samoa,
Samoa Conservation Society and Save the Manumea – Fa’asao le Manumea to protect Samoa’s national icon – the critically endangered manumea.
In Samoa, the manumea is often confused for common pigeons and mistakenly killed for food. The Samoan government has committed to cracking down on the illegal hunting of endemic birds and actively works to educate villages and communities. The last confirmed sighting of a manumea was in the Uafato forest in 2017 and surveys suggest that there may now be fewer than 50 individuals for each of the two main islands of Samoa, Savai’i, and Upolu. This is why acting now is so critical for the future of manumea – a species closely related to the extinct dodo.
As a conservation science organization, we’ve lent our expertise to the project. Our pest control manager Sian has facilitated two pest control operations in Samoa and has helped educate locals on how to humanely control predators. This work also has immense benefits for other native bird and lizard species in these areas. Most recently we’ve helped to fund the creation of a species recovery plan for manumea. This internationally recognized format allows a negotiated approach for the conservation of a threatened species, by providing an opportunity for those with knowledge of, or an interest in the species to contribute their ideas and agree on priority actions.
Thankfully, the manumea has also had support from further afield. The world-famous ‘Gonzo’ cartoonist Ralph Steadman and writer-filmmaker Ceri Levy are selling 100 prints of the ‘little dodo’, drawn by Steadman, with all proceeds going to the Save the Manumea campaign.
Learn more about this vital work on their new website – www.savethemanumea.com/
: Rothman, Auckland Zoo, Ralph Steadman