Re: Pacific's last megapode bird declared saved from extinction

To: "'Neill Greg'" <>,
Subject: Re: Pacific's last megapode bird declared saved from extinction
From: Mike Tarburton <>
Date: Tue, 24 Jun 2003 13:50:29 +1000
Greg & others
The megapode (Maleo in Tongan) in Tonga is now called the Polynesian Megapode or Scrubfowl (Megapodius pritchardii).  It is believed to have been more widespread pre-polynesian times but is now confined to two islands in Tonga.
The one you speak of in the Solomon Islands is the Melanesian Scrubfowl (Megapode) M.eremita.  It is widespread through the Bismarch Archipelago.
There are also the following species Vanuatu Scrubfowl M. layardi,  Orange-footed Scrubfowl of N Australia and S New Guinea, The New Guinea Scrubfowl of N New Guinea M. affinis, The Dusky Scrubfowl M. freycinet of W. New Guinea, the Micronesian Scrubfowl etc. etc.
So really we would be more corect in talking of the last megapode in Polynesia or the last population of the Polynesian Scrubfowl or Megapode.
Hope this info clarifies the position a little.
Happy megapode hunting.  (keep your photos in a humidity free environment)

Dr Mike Tarburton
Dean: School of Science & Technology
Pacific Adventist University
PMB Boroko
Papua New Guinea

-----Original Message-----
From: Neill Greg [
Sent: Tuesday, 24 June 2003 11:47 AM
Subject: [BIRDING-AUS] Re: Pacific's last megapode bird declared saved from extinction

With reference to Laurie's Posting on the on the I wonder about the birds on Savo Island (the name from my memory) that I sawabout 10 years ago behaving similarly .  Savo is a small active volcano island just of the northern coast of Guadalcanal.  The local population took us to watch the birds come in in the early morning dig a small hole in the warm black sand and deposit one very large egg. The islanders would than dig up the eggs for use as fresh egg for a morning omelette or take it home to incubate for a future house pet and potential fresh meat.
Is not the the Solomons in the Pacific?  Is it the same bird? Does anyone know more details?  At the time I was in Honiara I went to he national library to look at bird books and all they had was a boy scout handbook from about 1970 of a very few birds of the Solomon's.
Greg Neill

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