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Author: Holyoak, David T.
Year: 1974
Title: Les oiseaux des îles de la Société
Journal: L’oiseau et la Revue française d’ornithologie
Volume: 44
Pages: 1-27 et 153-184

Abstract: The Society Islands are have been suprisingly neglected by ornithologist. Their physical geography, climate, vegetation and faunas are briefly described, and the first comprehensive systematic list of the birds of the group is given. Information on the status and biology of the birds was obtained from the litterature, museum specimens, the unpublished journals of the Whitney South Sea Expedition (1920-1923) and field observations by the author in 1972. Ranges, habitat-preferences, food, feeding behaviour, general biology, vocalisations and nest of some of the endemic land birds are described for the first time. The limited information available on the annual cycles of the native land birds is summarised and briefly discussed. Some of the endemic land birds are now very rare and real danger of extinction, particularly Ducula aurorae, Vini peruviana, Acrocephalus caffer longirostris, and Pomarea nigra nigra. Populations of a number of other endemics are small, but they are not immediately threatened. Forest destruction, introduced birds and mammals, shooting and avian malaria, may all have contributed to the decline of native bird populations. Deforestation is continuing, so that the establishment of adequate nature reserves combined with prevention of burning and reduction of feral cattle and pig populations, offer the only hope for the survival of these endemic forms.