Butler, D.J.

For one of the species potentially at some risk of poisoning under the proposed rat eradication regime, the Friendly Ground Dove, Nuutele and Nuulua hold populations that are nationally significant. The complete loss of these populations would threaten the survival of the taxon in Samoa. Some authors consider the Samoan doves to be a separate race (Gallicolumba s. stairi) from those in Fiji and Tonga (Watling, 2001). Outside Samoa, the race is only found on the small island of Ofu,

During 10–21 September, quantitative surveys were carried out of birds and flying foxes using the same techniques as applied in earlier surveys, and searches carried out for a rare parrot and lizard. Bird counts showed that the lupe or Pacific imperial-pigeon population has recovered following a decline between 1994 and 2004 though the current hunting rate is considered unsustainable. Miti or Polynesian starling numbers have gradually declined over the period 1994–2012 which is a concern and hard to explain. Rat predation is a possible cause.

On 6 January 2004. cyclone Heta devastated much of the South Pacific island nation of Niue. Extensive damage was done to forest, particularly of the north- western sector, with many trees up-rooted and others stripped of branches and foliage. This report details our findings from a survey of Niue's birds and rodents during 3-19 September 2004 and compares these with results from a similar survey in September 1994.