This species is classified as Endangered because it has a very small range and population, which are undergoing continuing declines owing to a number of factors including logging, fire, hunting and predation by dogs.
Sibley, C. G.; Monroe, B. L. 1990. Distribution and taxonomy of birds of the world. Yale University Press, New Haven, USA.
Distribution and populationAepypodius bruijnii
43 cm. Large megapode with wattles. Dull brown plumage, greyer on upperparts and more chestnut on breast, with pinkish naked face. Male has small red comb and three pendulous red wattles. Similar spp. Much larger than Dusky Megapode Megapodius freycinet, with conspicuous tail and different head pattern. Wattled Brush-turkey A. arfakianus of New Guinea has blackish plumage, bluish-white face and single wattle. Voice. Hints Locate an active nest-mound, if possible with the assistance of villagers familiar with interior Waigeo.
is endemic to Waigeo, West Papuan Islands, Indonesia
, where until recently it was known only from 21 specimens (most recently collected in 1938)
(Holmes 1989, Jones et al
. 1995, Voisin et al.
2000) with the only specified locality being Jeimon, on the east side of Majalibit Bay. Despite more than 15 ornithological expeditions and reconnaissance visits actively searching for this bird it was not relocated until 2002, when one was seen in hill ridgetop forest on Mount Nok near Majalibit Bay
Mauro 2005); a subsequent two-month survey revealed 28 incubation mounds in a relatively small area
(R. W. R. J. Dekker in litt.
Mauro 2005). Ten sites at appropriate elevation are known, not all of which have confirmed records of the species
(Mauro 2006). However, only three were considered large enough to potentially hold viable populations: Mt Danai (36.2 km2
, 600-950 m), Mnier Hills (10.7 km2
, 600-870 m) and Mt Sau Lal (8 km2
, 600-970 m). In April 2007, an adult male was photographed on Mt Danai, displaying and tending a nest-mound, representing the first photograph of the species in the wild (C. Davies and I. Mauro in litt
.). Subsequently, it has been summised that Mt Danai could hold up to 65% of the species's global population (Anon. 2007), but further study is required. The currently known population totals 47 mound-owning males or 84 mature individuals
(Mauro 2006) and its global population is estimated at 349 mound-owning males or 977 mature individuals
(Mauro 2006). The large number of historical specimens suggests a serious historical decline. Population justification
The total population is estimated to number at least 980 mature individuals, roughly equivalent to over 1,400 individuals in total.Trend justification
The population is suspected to be declining at a slow or moderate rate, owing to hunting, predation by dogs and habitat loss.Ecology
It is a low density inhabitant of mountain forests above 620 m
(Mauro 2006), including the extremely rugged karst interior of the island. Its habitat is characterised as structurally distinctive, wind-sheared and possibly locally edaphically controlled stunted cloud-forest (Mauro 2008). Males appear to be sedentary, although females may wander into the lowlands in years of drought
(Mauro 2006). There may be some resource partitioning with M. freycinet
, which occurs widely in coastal areas and on the slopes up to 400 m
(Dekker and Argeloo 1993). Like other brush-turkeys, males build mounds for the incubation of the eggs (
Mauro 2005). There is very little information on diet or foraging behaviour
(Mauro 2002), although a wandering immature male, observed and photographed in August 2010, appeared to be attracted to seeds in a Wilson's Bird-of-paradise Cicinnurus respublica
court (Plantema 2011). Threats
Waigeo's rugged relief, lack of infrastructure and apparently entirely intact forest suggest that there are no current threats to the species from logging or agriculture
(Holmes 1989, Dekker and McGowan 1995, Mauro 2002). A proposed reduction in the size of the existing reserve on Waigeo and the prospect of cobalt or nickel mining in the Mnier Hills and the Mt Sau Lal region has been a concern since the late 1980s, and is apparently still being actively pursued
(Dekker and McGowan 1995, Hermanto in litt.
2007, Mauro 2008). Selective logging and subsequent burning is known to be taking place at a rapid pace in the lowlands, rendering montane subpopulations isolated
(Mauro 2006). Hunting is speculated to be a problem
(Dekker and McGowan 1995), but may be of only negligible effect
(Mauro 2006). The south-east corner of the island was ravaged by fire in 1982, perhaps rendering it unsuitable for the species
(Dekker and Argeloo 1993). The introduction of predators, such as feral dogs, represents a potential threat, especially since rogue dogs are currently thought to be a problem at least locally
(Dekker 1989; Mauro 2002, 2006). Although the species has coexisted with wild pigs for several thousand years, anecdotal observations suggest that they impact the Mt Danai population at least (Davies 2008). Conservation actions underway
Cagar Alam Waigeo Barat Nature Reserve was established in the late 1980s, covering 1,530 km2
, slightly less than half the island (Holmes 1989, Dekker and McGowan 1995). Conservation actions proposed
Convert Waigeo's 'paper parks' into a single integrated, properly demarcated, meaningful protected area with national park status and multiple-usage zonations demarcated following consultation with local communities. Set up an island-wide awareness campaign to prevent future wild fires. Declare the species's core locations as strictly no hunting areas. Conduct additional field work in order to establish with absolute certainty that populations are present at all inferred sites. Establish beyond reasonable doubt whether the species is indeed absent from Batanta. Study nesting site philopatry and the extent of gene flow across locations, preferably using a non-invasive molecular technique. Study the impact of ENSO-induced drought events and invasive species, such as pigs, on the species's reproductive success.
Anon. 2007. Bruijn's Brush-turkey photographed for the first time in the wild. World Pheasant Association News: 5.
Plantema, O. 2011. Close encounters on Waigeo: Bruijn's Brush-Turkey and Wilson's Bird-of-Paradise. Dutch Birding 33(2): 124-131.
Holmes, D. A. 1989. Status report on Indonesian Galliformes. Kukila 3(3/4): 133-143.
Dekker, R. W. R. J. 1989. Predation and the western limits of megapode distribution (Megapodiidae; Aves). Journal of Biogeography 16: 317-321.
Dekker, R.; Argeloo, M. 1993. Bruijn's Brush-turkey Aegopodius bruijnii remains a mystery. Megapode Newsletter 7(2): 15-17.
Dekker, R. W. R. J.; McGowan, P. J. K. 1995. Megapodes: an action plan for their conservation 1995-1999. International Union for Nature Conservation and Natural Resources, Gland, Switzerland.
Jones, D. N.; Dekker, R. W. R. J.; Roselaar, C. S. 1995. The Megapodes. Oxford University Press, Oxford, U.K.
Voisin, C.; Voisin, J.-F.; Soekarja Somadikarta; Dekker, R. 2000. Six overlooked specimens of Bruijn's Brush-turkey Aepypodius bruijnii (Oustalet, 1880). Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club 120: 146-148.
Dekker, R. W. R. J.; Fuller, R. A.; Baker, G. C. 2000. Megapodes. Status survey and conservation action plan 2000-2004. IUCN and World Pheasant Association, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.
Mauro, I. 2002. Bruijn's Brush-turkey Aepypodius bruijnii for the first time observed in the wild. Megapode Newsletter 16: 2-3.
Mauro, I. 2008. Bruijn's Brush-turkey Aepypodius bruijnii: field discovery, monitoring and conservation of an enigma. Megapode Newsletter 21(1): 7.
Baker, G.C.; Dekker, R.W. R.J.; Keane, A.M. in press. Megapodes: status survey and conservation action plan 2005-2009. IUCN and World Pheasant Association, Gland, Switzerland & Cambridge, UK.
Mauro, I. 2005. Field discovery, mound characteristics, bare parts, vocalisations and behaviour of Bruijn's Brush-turkey (Aepypodius bruijnii). Emu 105: 273-281.
Mauro, I. 2006. Habitat, microdistribution and conservation status of the enigmatic Bruijn's Brush-turkey Aepypodius bruijni. Bird Conservation International 16(4): 279-292.
Davies, C. 2008. Waigeo Island, March-April 2007. Muruk 9(1): 33-40.
Further web sources of information
Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE) species/site profile. This species has been identified as an AZE trigger due to its IUCN Red List status and limited range.
Click here for more information about the Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE)
Detailed species accounts from the Threatened birds of Asia: the BirdLife International Red Data Book (BirdLife International 2001).
View photos and videos, and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection
Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Davidson, P., Dutson, G., Harding, M., Mahood, S., Taylor, J.
Bishop, K., Davies, C., Dekker, R., Diamond, J., Hermanto, .., Mauro, I., Planque, B.
IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Symes, A.
BirdLife International (2013) Species factsheet: Aepypodius bruijnii. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 24/05/2013.
Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2013) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 24/05/2013.
This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000)
Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004)
Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.
To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife
To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.
Additional resources for this species