2 Oct 2017

Samoa's national bird under serious threat

9:37 am on 2 October 2017

Conservationists in Samoa are pinning their hopes on an international campaign to save the manumea, Samoa's rare and elusive national bird.

Manumea, also known as the 'tooth-billed pigeon' or 'little dodo'.

Manumea, also known as the 'tooth-billed pigeon' or 'little dodo'. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The Samoa Conservation Society has pooled its resources with Auckland Zoo, Samoa's Ministry of Natural Resources, and a team from the UK to work together to save the bird.

Endemic to Samoa, the manumea is a unique tooth-billed pigeon whose population is threatened by deforestation, introduced predators like rats and cats, and human development on its island home.

President of the Samoa Conservation Society James Atherton said the international exposure had helped by providing some funding towards its campaign.

"Because we don't have a huge amount of money to use for our work here in Samoa, conservation is a poor cousin of many other thematic areas, we have to fight for every dollar we get."