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Modelling habitat suitability for the Critically Endangered Manumea or Tooth-Billed Pigeon (Didunculus strigirostris) using past and present baselines

Gough, William B; Hudson, Michael A; Young, H Glyn; Wood, Joe; Whitehead, Hester; Turvey, Samuel T; (2024) Modelling habitat suitability for the Critically Endangered Manumea or Tooth-Billed Pigeon (Didunculus strigirostris) using past and present baselines. Bird Conservation International (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Evidence-based conservation can be hindered by limited field data, but historical archives have potential to provide unique insights into conservation-relevant parameters such as distribution of suitable habitat. The Manumea or Tooth-Billed Pigeon (Didunculus strigirostris) has declined on Samoa and only a tiny remnant population still persists, and a key first step for conservation is to locate surviving birds. Numerous Manumea records are available from the nineteenth century onwards, and we use historical and modern records to generate a series of species distribution models to predict distribution of suitable habitat across Samoa to guide new field searches. Manumea distribution is closely associated with forest cover or its proxies. Preferred Manumea food plants are suggested to be low-elevation trees, but elevation provides relatively low percentage contribution in most models, thus not excluding the possibility that Manumea might occur at high elevations. There is also little evidence for elevational change in records over the past century. Models based on visual versus acoustic records exhibit differences in predicted habitat suitability, suggesting that some purported acoustic records might not actually represent Manumea calls. Field searches should target areas representing high habitat suitability across all models, notably the forested central axis of Upolu.

Type: Article
Title: Modelling habitat suitability for the Critically Endangered Manumea or Tooth-Billed Pigeon (Didunculus strigirostris) using past and present baselines
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/bird-conse...
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.
Keywords: environmental archives, historical baselines, island extinctions, MaxEnt, museum records, species distribution models
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10191210
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