As the Samoan rainforest dwindles, the region’s unique birds are slipping quickly into extinction. Voracious alien rats seek out eggs and nestlings, endangering creatures such as the elegant giant honeyeater of the Samoan rainforest, the mao. The Pacific blue-eyed bird has THE eeriest, most unearthly call of any winged creature on this planet. (That alone should make you book a flight to Samoa right now to hear it before it’s gone.) Fortunately, some good folks are scurrying, hopefully faster than the rats, to save birds like this from leaving us forever – but they need your help. The team just launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo to raise funds to save Samoan birds – check it out here and donate today!
Another Samoan bird facing extinction is the manumea, a largish, purplish-hued island pigeon with sizable teeth on its bill for slicing open tough rainforest fruits. This bird hails from the ignominious lineage of the dodo, another large island pigeon notorious for how quickly it went extinct after people first found it.
The team working to save these birds consists of Samoan and New Zealand wildlife specialists who are trapping rats, donning hot manumea bird-suits and dancing around school rooms, and figuring out what these birds need at a minimum to survive into the next decade. They have the support of the government, Samoan communities, and the scientific community, yet they need a used car to be able to get around to the villages and remote forest fragments “mo’ bettah“, as they say in the islands. (Samoan taxi drivers are among the most laid back and slowest-driving in the world… so taking taxis will not prevent extinctions.)
That’s where you come in – the group has launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo to raise funds for their conservation efforts. If you’re not able to donate, a simple Like and a Tweet could catalyze a whole heap of eyes to have a look, and those good people with concern for the Earth and some spare cash could donate a bit so that the birdhuggers can do their important work. As a result, some of the coolest birds in the world can enjoy the cool morning mists in the Samoan rainforests for another generation, at least.
The bird team tried to ask Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (the famous actor and Samoan Chief) to endorse this project to save Samoa’s National Bird (the Manumea), but the Byzantine world of Hollywood publicists and agents foiled the connection. Seiuli (Honorable Chief) Dwayne Johnson, if you are reading this, please consider endorsing this project – Fa’afetai tele ma ia manuia!
Photos used with permission from Samoanbirds.com