Saving the Manumea,
the national bird of Samoa
Flinch is supporting combined efforts by the Samoa Conservation Society, the Government of Samoa and the Auckland Zoo, to protect the critically endangered Manumea, a native species of tooth-billed pigeon. Ongoing work to protect the "Little Dodo" involves developing a behaviour change campaign designed to reduce impacts from illegal hunting.
Using behaviour change strategies to help save Samoa's Little Dodo from extinction.
Flinch initially coordinated a 3-day planning workshop in May 2017, including approximately 20 people from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE), the Samoa Conservation Society (SCS) and community groups who are all working together to find effective ways to protect the Manumea.
This workshop helped to generate support for the development of a national campaign focused on reducing the impacts of hunting at national and local levels, particularly in the five key communities where the remaining Manumea are thought to still exist. It is estimated that only 150-200 Manumea still exist and these remaining birds are highly threatened by the hunting of another native pigeon species, the Lupe.
"Flinch has been hugely helpful in our efforts to save the Manumea, the critically endangered national bird of Samoa."
James Atherton, President, Samoa Conservation Society
Although hunting of any native bird species has been illegal since 2004, with the threat of a 5000 tala fine, more than 20,000 Lupe are still hunted every year and it is widely consumed as a delicacy throughout Samoa. Although local hunting bans have been enforced in some villages, the Lupe is regularly hunted for commercial sale at around 15 tala per bird and the Manumea is at considerable risk of being hunted as by-catch. Over 80% of Lupe are consumed by wealthier Samoan's, many of whom live in or near the capital of Apia.
Flinch supported efforts to increase awareness of the plight by coordinating media coverage via BBC World and TVNZ. We are now supporting the campaign team to develop and fund a national behaviour change campaign to reduce the impacts of hunting on this critically endangered bird.
We worked with our colleagues at Ocular to produce a 3D animation of the rarely sighted Manumea. This animation was used to stimulate discussions and feedback from hunters and villagers in the 6 key areas that the Manumea is still believed to inhabit.