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"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

Behaviour

We specialize in designing behaviour change programmes to help address some of the world's most difficult challenges. 

Case study: Saving the Manumea

We are working closely with the Samoa Conservation Society and the Government of Samoa to prevent the extinction of its national bird, the Manumea. The Manumea, a tooth-billed pigeon, is known globally as one of the last relatives of the famously extinct Dodo.   

 

We designed the behaviour change strategy in support of the 10-year Manumea Recovery Plan . 

 

Read our Strategy 

Using community-based social marketing approaches to help save Samoa's Little Dodo from extinction. 

1. What's the problem?​

 

Since the 1990's the Manumea population has declined from around 7,000 to possibly less than 150 birds left in the wild. It is now only likely to exist in six key areas on the islands of Upolu and Savaii including: Falease'ela; Uafato; Malololelei; Aleipata; Aopo and Salelologa.

The Manumea provides significant value to the natural ecosystem because it uses its large beak to feed on large native seeds that cannot be eaten by other birds. By doing this, it acts as a crucial seed disperser, naturally restoring the native forest.  But despite a national ban on the hunting all native flying species, and a number of public awareness campaigns, the Manumea is now under serious threat of extinction.

Key threats to the Manumea include the loss of its lowland forest habitat and predation from rats and wild cats. Another major threat to the Manumea comes from human hunters who use shotguns to hunt the Lupe (Pacific pigeon) which is highly prized as a status food. According to the 2013-2014 Household Income & Expenditure Survey, Samoan householders consume an estimated 26,465 Lupe per year. While not a primary target of the Lupe hunters, the Manumea is frequently caught as bycatch.

2. What are the campaign objectives?

 

The main objectives of the "Save the Manumea" (Fa'asao le Manumea) campaign are to:

1. Increase local actions needed to protect the Manumea including local hunting bans, predator control, planting native species and increasing ecotourism opportunities in six target communities.

 

2. Reduce national demand for consuming Lupe and to reduce household consumption of pigeons by 25% by June, 2020.

 

3. Ban the use of shotgun ammunition which is being used to hunt the Lupe and increase the risk of by-catch for the Manumea.

 

An initial key objective of the campaign is to convince Samoan's that efforts to stop the hunting and consumption of Lupe will support efforts to protect the Manumea and enable its population to recover.  The 12-month campaign, from July 2019 to June 2020, has a target budget of USD$135K which is approximately the same commercial value of all the pigeons that are hunted every year in Samoa.