IUCN threat status:

Vulnerable (VU)

Distribution

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Range Description

Megapodius layardi is endemic to Vanuatu, being recorded from most islands north of Efate (Bregulla 1992). In 1995, it was surveyed on north-west Ambrym where 148 burrows were counted in three breeding grounds - local villagers reported a decline in numbers (Bowen 1996). Surveys in 2001 estimated the population density to be c.7 birds per km2 around Lake Fantang (O'Brien et al. 2003). The population density was estimated at c.10 birds per km2 in the Loru Protected Area on Espiritu Santo (Bowen 1997, O'Brien et al. 2003), but birds appear less common in other forests on the island (G. Dutson pers. obs. 1998). There are 1970s records from Vanua Lava, Aoba, Malo, Malakula, Lopevi, Paama, Epi, Tongoa and Emae islands and records from 2000 onwards from Vanbirds has recent records from the Torres Islands (Loh), Reef Islands (coral atoll between Ureparapara and Mota Lava), Mota Lava, Vanua Lava, Mere Lava, Santo, Ambae, Pentecost, Ambrym, (up to about 500 m above sea level), Malekula, Epi, Tongoa (breeding at geothermal sites near sea level), Nguna and Emau islands (north Efate); it is also probably still present on Gaua (J. Diamond in litt. 1999, S. Totterman in litt. 2007). On Tanna, its status is uncertain, it may never have occurred on the island (S. Totterman in litt. 2007) or it may be extinct there (Dutson 2011). The species varies in abundance, usually uncommon and localised but may be abundant close to communal nesting grounds (Dutson 2011).

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© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

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