The village hopes the actions will help preserve Samoa’s national bird

Samoa national manumea bird mural on the east wall of the New Zealand High Commission office in Apia
Photo: Autagavaia Teepee Autagavaia

In Samoa, a village is banning the shooting of the country’s national bird, the manumea, as part of an effort to save it from extinction.

The Samoa Observer reports Falealupo Mayor Taofinu’u Lamositele, saying he is happy that the village’s efforts have been recognized, and that it is now classified as “manumea friendly”.

“The whole village has been informed that no one is allowed to shoot it but they must take pictures or register the bird when it is seen,” Taofinu’u said.

The bird is called manumea because it is a shy bird. It has a colorful body with a distinct yellow beak.

Explaining what he thinks are the reasons why the birds are difficult to spot, the mayor said the manumea is selective in the types of other birds it mixes with or the insects it eats.

“The manumea doesn’t like many birds and insects. The only birds it likes are the fiaui or the white-throated pigeon,” he said.

“I have to remind people that our ancestors always preserved the forests, and that’s why Falealupo has a lot of forests, so we know these birds.”

He said they are now working with the Department of Environment and the Samoa Conservation Society to help search for the manumea.

The manumea, also known as the tooth-billed pigeon or the Samoan dodo, is found only in Samoa.

Several surveys have confirmed that its number is extremely low.

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