Terrestrial bird population trends on Aguiguan (Goat Island), Mariana Islands

Bird Conservation International
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Abstract

The island of Aguiguan is part of the Mariana archipelago and currently supports populations of four endemic species, including one endemic genus, Cleptornis. Bird population trends since 1982 were recently assessed on the neighbouring islands of Saipan, Tinian, and Rota indicating declines in some native species. Point-transect surveys were conducted in 2008 by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to assess population densities and trends on Aguiguan. Densities for six of the nine native birds—White-throated Ground-dove Gallicolumba xanthonura, Collared Kingfisher Todiramphus chloris, Rufous Fantail Rhipidura rufifrons, Golden White-eye Cleptornis marchei, Bridled White-eye Zosterops conspicillatus and Micronesian Starling Aplonis opaca—and the non-native bird—Island Collared-dove Streptopelia bitorquata—were significantly greater in 2008 than in 1982. No differences in densities were detected among the surveys for Mariana Fruit-dove Ptilinopus roseicapilla, and Micronesian MyzomelaMyzomela rubratra. Three federally and locally listed endangered birds—Nightingale Reed-warbler Acrocephalus luscinius, Mariana Swiftlet Collocalia bartschi, and Micronesian Megapode Megapodius laperous)—were either not detected during the point-transect counts, the surveys were not appropriate for the species, or the numbers of birds detected were too small to estimate densities. The factors behind the increasing trends for some species are unknown but may be related to increased forest cover on the island since 1982. With declining trends for some native species on neighbouring islands, the increasing and stable trends on Aguiguan is good news for forest bird populations in the region, as Aguiguan populations can help support conservation efforts on other islands in the archipelago.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Terrestrial bird population trends on Aguiguan (Goat Island), Mariana Islands
Series title Bird Conservation International
DOI 10.1017/S0959270914000021
Volume 24
Issue 4
Year Published 2014
Language English
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Contributing office(s) Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center
Description 13 p.
First page 505
Last page 517
Country United States
Other Geospatial Aguiguan Island, Mariana Islands
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N