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By Guy C. L. Dutson
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Additional resources for Birds of Melanesia
More research is required to know the impact on birds across the region but it seems likely that the decline and extinction of terrestrial birds such as ground doves and rails have been caused by rats and cats. Cats are blamed for the extinction of Choiseul Pigeon and several native rodents in the Solomons, dogs are the greatest threat to Kagu on New Caledonia, and rats are a hazard everywhere to nesting seabirds. These alien species have the greatest impacts on isolated islands which lack native terrestrial mammals.
Taxonomy and nomenclature largely follow that of the IOC (International Ornithological Congress) – see page 20. The table uses the same island groups as those used in the distribution bars opposite the plates (see page 37), with the addition of a column for the species’ conservation status. Globally Threatened Species (GTS)â•‡ Species considered to be globally threatened by BirdLife International are assigned one of the following codes, based on IUCN Red List criteria: Loyalties Grande Terre e Temotu e Vanuatu Makira e Rennell e Malaita e New Georgia Bougainville Guadalcanal New Britain Mussau New Ireland ✔ Manus GTS EX (Extinct), CR (Critically Endangered), EN (Endangered), VU (Vulnerable), NT (Near Threatened) or DD (Data Deficient) Dwarf Cassowary Casuarius bennetti Melanesian Megapode Megapodius eremita Vanuatu Megapode Megapodius layardi Wild Turkey Meleagris gallopavo King Quail Excalfactoria chinensis Red Junglefowl Gallus gallus Common Pheasant Phasianus colchicus i Indian Peafowl Pavo cristatus i Spotted Whistling Duck Dendrocygna guttata Plumed Whistling Duck Dendrocygna eytoni Wandering Whistling Duck Dendrocygna arcuata Mallard Anas platyrhynchos Pacific Black Duck Anas superciliosa Australasian Shoveler Anas rhynchotis Northern Shoveler Anas clypeata v Grey Teal Anas gracilis v Northern Pintail Anas acuta v Garganey Anas querquedula Hardhead Aythya australis Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula Laysan Albatross Phoebastria immutabilis NT Wandering Albatross Diomedea exulans VU NT r e e e e VU e i r r i i v r i i v v v v r v i r r r r r r r r r x r r i r r v v x r r r r v v v Northern Royal Albatross Diomedea sanfordi EN Light-mantled Albatross Phoebetria palpebrata NT Campbell Albatross Thalassarche impavida VU Buller’s Albatross Thalassarche bulleri NT Southern Giant Petrel Macronectes giganteus Northern Giant Petrel Macronectes halli v v v v v v v?
Chee-chee- or chee, chee… All species texts are ordered taxonomically. The non-passerine plates are ordered taxonomically, except for a few species that have been moved to appear next to unrelated but easily confused species. The passerine plates, however, are divided into groups of plates for each of the main island groups: Bismarcks, Solomons, Makira, Rennell, Temotu, Vanuatu and New Caledonia. These groupings reflect broad biogeographical divisions, rather political boundaries. Thus, the Solomons includes Bougainville (administered by Papua New Guinea), whilst the outlying islands of Makira, Rennell and Temotu (all belonging to the Solomons) have separate passerine plate sections due to their distinct avifaunas.