IUCN threat status:

Critically Endangered (CR)

Distribution

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Range Description

The speciesis endemic to Samoa, where it is known as Manumea. Its total population was estimated at 4,800-7,200 birds in the mid-1980s (Beichle 1987), but in the 1990s the population showed a drastic decline owing to the effects of cyclones such that in 2000 fewer than 2,500 mature individuals were believed to survive. In 1999 and 2000, surveys on Savai'i showed that it had become rare with pairs scattered in suitable habitat. Concern was raised that these small, increasingly fragmented sub-populations may not be viable (H. Freifeld in litt. 1999). An eleven-month survey in 2005-2006 reported the species from only ten locations, and the population was estimated to number only a few hundred, although the remote and largely intact uplands of Savai'i remained largely unsurveyed (Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment, Samoa 2006). Small numbers were recorded in a few locations on Upolu in 2009, but a lack of recent sightings among local hunters further suggests that declines are continuing (M. O'Brien in litt. 2011, R. Stirnemann in litt. 2011). A single individual on Nu'utele in 2010 may have been an immigrant from Upolu (M. O'Brien in litt. 2011). Surveys for the species conducted by the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment on Savai'i in 2013 yielded one record, of a juvenile bird that was photographed, this being the first confirmed sighting on Savai'i for almost a decade, although there was an additional, unverified sighting in 2012 (BirdLife International 2014). An adult bird was also observed in the same area during the survey (Uili et al. 2013). The species was not recorded at three sites surveyed between September and November 2013 (one in eastern Savai'i, one on Upolu and the third on Nu'utele) (Uili et al. 2013). Over a thousand hours of sound recordings using remotely located microphones had not yet been analysed as of early 2013 (Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment, Samoa in litt. 2013). If numbers on Savai'i have declined as steeply as appears to be the case on Upolu, it is thought likely that the total population numbers fewer than 250 birds (M. O'Brien in litt. 2011). The population is therefore estimated to number fewer than 250 mature individuals, with no more than 50 mature individuals in each subpopulation.

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Source: IUCN

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