IUCN threat status:

Vulnerable (VU)

Distribution

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Range Description

Megapodius nicobariensis is endemic to the Nicobar Islands, India (BirdLife International 2001), where it occurs as two races on 14 islands: M. n. abbotti on Great Nicobar, Little Nicobar, Kondul, Menchal, Treis, Meroe, and M. n. nicobariensis on Camorta, Trinkat, Nancowry, Katchall, Teressa, Bompoka and Tillanchong islands (Sivakumar 2007), with the apparent sighting of a pair on Cubra Island in May 2009, and records from Pilo Milo in May 2011 (A. P. Zaibin in litt. 2012). It is thought to be extinct on Pilo Milo. Historical reports from Little Andaman, India, and the Cocos Islands, Myanmar, lack substantiating evidence. In 1994, there were estimated to be 2,318-4,056 breeding pairs, but following the tsunami in December 2004 populations disappeared completely from two islands, Trax and Megapode Island, and the total number of breeding pairs was estimated at 395-790 following surveys in 2006, with the majority on Great Nicobar (203-406) and Little Nicobar (82-164) (Sivakumar 2010). Preliminary assessments since 2006 indicate that although a major interruption to breeding occurred in 2005 and 2006, a natural recovery was underway and breeding success had improved (R. Sankaran in litt. 2008); however, some threats, such as the encroachment of plantations, appear to have worsened since the tsunami (Sivakumar 2010). Surveys conducted in 2009-2011 have resulted in a population estimate of 376-752 breeding pairs, suggesting that the population has remained stable since 2006 (A. P. Zaibin in litt. 2012).

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Source: IUCN

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