My Birding Blogs

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Tahiti Trip 2007 - Acknowledgements and References

Polynesian Ground-dove (Gallicolumba erythroptera) - Male

I owe my great trip to the people behind The Ornithological Society of Polynesia - "MANU". Without their help and invaluable information, this trip would not have been so fruitful.

I would like to express my sincere gratitude especially to Philippe Raust, Anne Gouni, Jean Durieux, Norbert Lau and Dylan Kesler (USA) to make the trip successful and so memorable to me.


As both the Tahiti Monarch and Polynesian Ground-dove are critically endangered species, the habitats where they survive are hence sensitve. Visiting their habitat for survey or photography must be in small group of visitors and it should be made known to MANU or contacts through MANU for gathering of survey information.

Please note that MANU is understaffed and they do not always reply to visitor's enquiries promptly. These are friendly people when meeting face to face but they are often busy on expedition trips on some very remote outer islands doing the meaningful conservations and survey works. Your support in terms of membership, sponsorship or donation would certainly help to conserve and research on birds of French Polynesia.

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Field Guides

Pratt, H.D., Bruner, SP.L and Berrett, D.G. (1987). A Field Guide to the Birds Hawaii and the Tropical Pacific. - Adequately covers birds in French Polynesia. As it is 20 years old guidebook, I do not use it to look for current status and distribution of many bird species.


Howard, Moore (1998) . A Complete Checklist of the Birds of the World (Second Edition). - No a very up-to-date version. However this is a good source to referrenc to subspecies level. I do not stick to any particular world checklist. But if you have any doubts or disagreement, please let me know (tunpin dot ong at gmail dot com)

Collar, N.J. (editor) (2000). Threatened Birds of the World. BirdLife International

Useful Websites

The Ornithological Society of Polynesia - "MANU"

The most useful site for my trip. Some downloadable newsletters are great but unfortunately they are all in French and I had to struggle to understand them.

BirdLife International -

Useful source of informaiton from international perspective.

Trip Reports

Van Biers, M. Polynesia, 8-30 September (2004). Link with downloadable PDF.

Morris, P. Polynesia, 6-28 September (2006). Link with downloadable PDF.

Both trip reports provide very useful information especially the later one comes with stunning photos. Great trip reports even just for reading.

Afterthoughts from the Trip

Looking at the world map, you could hardly find any spots on Earth where the environmental conditions are getting better. French Polynesia is not doing well either with problems of rising sea level, population growth, pollution, etc. However, this is one of the few places you could come across some positive news that a few highly endangered flagship bird fauna are recovering, albeit slowly. Thanks to a small group of people working hard to save and research on these endangered fauna as well as their habitats.

Kudo to these people especially we keep coming across negative news from other parts of the world where natural habitats are being destroyed ruthlessly unsustainably. Forests are cleared, wetlands are drained, coastal areas are reclaimed, rivers are polluted, etc.

Our earth is beautiful. Treasure it! (Rangiroa Atoll, Tuamotu Archipelago)

Thank you for your interest to read my blog.

If you have any comments, suggestions or questions, please write to me (tunpin dot ong at gmail dot com).

Have a GOOD DAY !!!