13 Oct 2015

American Samoa propose new listings for endangered species

2:28 pm on 13 October 2015

American Samoa has proposed two birds, two tropical snails and the only insect-eating bat in Polynesia to be listed as endangered.

The call came from the US Fish and Wildlife Service, with agreement from the Centre for Biological Diversity.

The centre's international program director, Sarah Uhlemann, says American Samoa is home to incredible wildlife that's threatened by habitat destruction and invasive species.

The two birds are the friendly ground dove and the mao, whose habitats have almost entirely disappeared on the Samoan archipelago due to logging, cyclone damage and non-native rats that eat the ground dove's eggs.

The Pacific sheath-tailed bat once numbered as many as 11,000 in American Samoa, but a 2008 survey found none.

The Fish and Wildlife Service will now take public comment on the proposed listings and has 12 months to finalise a decision.