local ecological knowledge about the Samoa endemic and critically endangered manumea /Tooth-billed Pigeon (Didunculus strigirostris)

The symbolic relevance of Manumea in the Samoa culture and the use of local ecological knowledge for the conservation of Manumea

Pigeons are very important in the Samoan culture (Bennet 1862). The complex and elaborate imagery of Samoan language includes several proverbs and metaphors related to pigeons and the art of hunting pigeons in the traditional way (using arrows, nets and lures) (Stair 1897). Reportedly in the past the meat of the Manumea was reserved for the high chiefs of the villages and its feathers were used as decorations (Appleton 1871). In the 1990s Manumea became the national bird of Samoa. Today Manumea features on the 20 tala note and on 50 sene coins.

During years 2016-2017 local ecological knowledge was collected and decoded from selected reliable hunters of Upolu and Savaii and this knowledge was to better understand the conservation status of this enigmatic species and to find clues to identify its call.



In 2019 James McKinnon wrote a reportage on this species for The Athlantic:


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