French Polynesia - Société d'Ornithologie de Polynésie (MANU)

BirdLife Partner

Founded in 1990
Members: 110
Staff: 7
Résidence du plateau Mitirapa, Lot 48, Impasse Des Acacias B.P. 7023, Taravao, PF, 98719

Mission of the organisation

The purpose of the Ornithological Society of Polynesia - "MANU" - is to take action to protect the birds, habitats and biodiversity of French Polynesia, and work with the human population to promote the sustainable management of natural resources by:

  • Developing and promoting information on Polynesian birds and their conservation
  • Protecting Polynesian birds and their habitats
  • Contributing to the study of Polynesian birds in their natural environment
  • Developing and promoting information on Polynesian birds and their conservation

Key Activities

  • The Council's members of the Ornithological Society of Polynesia have a monthly meeting
  • Publication of the Bulletin "Te Manu" (4 issues per year,) for the members
  • Involvement in educational and promotional events (Day of Environment, conferences, radio, television) to raise public awareness
  • Field trips (birdwatching, tape recording, or video) and logistic support to ornithological missions in French Polynesia
  • Proposals for conservation programmes, financing and implementing protection programs on endangered species
  • MANU is involved in six conservation programmes : of the Tahiti Monarch Pomarea nigra, Society Ground-dove Gallicollumba erythroptera, Striated Heron Butorides striata, Tuamotu Kingfisher Todiramphus gambieri and Fatu Hiva Monarch Pomarea whitneyi, Lorikeets of French Polynesia
  • MANU is involved in monitoring two populations of indigenous bird species per year (on isolated islands)
  • MANU participates in the two Packard Foundation-funded projects Locating Important Seabird Colonies (Important Bird Areas) in French Polynesia and Fiji, and Restoration of Globally Important Seabird Colonies in the Pacific by the Removal of Rats and Other Invasive Predators
  • MANU implements a rescue programme for ‘crashed’ Tahiti Petrels Pseudobulweria rostrata
  • MANU participates in a programme to study the birds of French Polynesia, such as the Tuamotu (Polynesian) Sandpiper Prosobonia cancellata, in collaboration with Vancouver University
  • MANU coordinates two genetic research programmes on the Society Ground-Dove and the Tuamotu Kingfisher
  • MANU set up a programme to protect the island of Rimatara and Ua Huka against the arrival of the Black Rat

“Eradication of rats from Teuaua islet, Marquesas” A conservation story in ten pictures.

The following photo series shows how rats were removed from the islet of Teuaua located near the island of Ua Huka in the Marquesas archipelago (French Polynesia) in February 2009. This was part of the regional BirdLife project “Restoration of globally important seabird colonies in the Pacific by the removal of rats and other invasive predators” funded by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. For more information about that project, please click here.

Recent Achievements

  • MANU has successfully reintroduced the Marquesan Imperial Pigeon Ducula galeata (Nuku Hiva or Upe) to the island of Ua Huka to create a new population of this formerly Critically Endangered species which was estimated to number about 120 individuals in 2000.  As a result, the species was downlisted to Endangered, with two known populations of 265 and 45 individuals respectively (in 2008)
  • Since 1998, during all the year, a rat poisoning programme is implemented around known nesting sites of the Tahiti Monarch. Trees with nests are also protected against rats with metallic bands. All individual birds are closely monitored to get an accurate estimate of breeding success and as a result, eight chicks successfully fledged, raising the total population to 40 individuals. In 2010, a programme to control the feral cats was set up on two valleys
  • With financial assistance from the BP Conservation Fund (now Conservation Leadership Programme) MANU carried out surveys in the Tuamotu Archipelago that led to the discovery of a new population of the Society Ground-dove on Morane atoll (50 individuals). In addition ten small islets have been made rat-free to contribute to the survival of this bird species in Rangirora (12 individuals)
  • MANU has increased the area controlled for rats to conserve the Fatu Hiva Monarch, and will monitor this area throughout the year from 2009 onwards (currently done only between July and December)
  • Research carried out by MANU using radio telemetry has provided new insights in the territorial behaviour of Tuamotu Kingfisher and the reasons for their population decline. A first test to moving the bird is done in 2010 in Niau with the goal to estimate if the creation of the safety population is possible in another island than Niau
  • MANU participated in the successful reintroduction of the Rimitara Lorikeet Vini kuhlii on Atiu in the Cook Islands
  • Seventy Tahiti Petrels have been rescued in 2008 (after they had crashed to the ground)

Did you know?