Tag Archives: Ua Huka

Pampusana nui (Steadman)

Large Polynesian Ground Dove (Pampusana nui)

The Large Polynesian Ground Dove, which is known only from subfossil remains, was a widespread species that occurred on several island groups in central Polynesia including the Cook Islands, the Society Islands and the Marquesas.

The species was sympatric on the Cook-, and Society Islands with the smaller Polynesian Ground Dove (Pampusana erythroptera (Gmelin)) and with the Marquesan Ground Dove (Pampusana rubescens (Vieillot)) on the Marquesas Islands, and very likely with additional, yet extinct species.  

The Large Polynesian Ground Dove, sometimes also named Giant Ground Dove in fact was not truly a giant, yet with a probable size of around 36 cm was still larger than all its Polynesian congeners. [1][2]

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The species was also thought, based on subfossil remains, to have occurred on the Gambier Islands, these remains, however, were later found out to be assignable to another species, the Henderson Island Archaic Pigeon (Bountyphaps obsoleta Worthy & Wragg). [3][4]

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syn. Alopecoenas nui (Steadman), Gallicolumba nui Steadman

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References:  

[1] David W. Steadman: Extinction and Biogeography of Tropical Pacific Birds. University Of Chicago Press 2006
[2] Jean-Claude Thibault; Alice Cibois: From early Polynesian settlements to present: bird extinctions in the Gambier Islands. Pacific Science 66(3): 1-26. 2011 
[3] Knud A. Jønsson; Martin Irestedt; Rauri C. K. Bowie; Les Christidis; Jon Fieldså: Systematics and biogeography of Indo-Pacific ground-doves. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 59: 538-543. 2011
[4] Stanislas Rigal; Patrick V. Kirch; Trevor H. Worthy: New prehistoric avifaunas from the Gambier Group, French Polynesia. Palaeontologia Electronica 21.3.4A 1-35. 2018

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edited: 16.03.2020

Prosobonia sp. ‘Marquesas’

Marquesan Sandpiper (Prosobonia sp.)

This species is known from subfossil remains that were recovered from deposits on the island of Ua Huka, Marquesas. [1]

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References:  

[1] David W. Steadman: Extinction and Biogeography of Tropical Pacific Birds. University of Chicago Press 2006

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edited: 07.05.2021

Zapornia sp. ‘Ua Huka 1’

Ua Huka Swamphen (Zapornia sp.)  

There are at least two forms of swamphen that formerly inhabited the island of Ua Huka, Marquesas.  

These two species are both known from subfossil remains alone and differed from each other in their size.  

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References:  

[1] David W. Steadman: Extinction and Biogeography of Tropical Pacific Birds. University of Chicago Press 2006  

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edited: 20.03.2018

Gallirallus gracilitibia Kirchman & Steadman

Ua Huka Rail (Gallirallus gracilitibia)

The Ua Huka Rail was described in 2007 based on subfossil remains that have been recovered from the island of Ua Huka, Marquesas.

The species was quite gracile built and completely flightless, it was extirpated by the first Polynesian settlers. [1]

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References:

[1] Jeremy J. Kirchman; David W. Steadman: New Species of Extinct Rails (Aves: Rallidae) from Archaeological Sites in the Marquesas Islands, French Polynesia. Pacific Science 61(1): 145-163. 2007

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edited: 22.05.2019

Zapornia sp. ‘Ua Huka 2’

Ua Huka Swamphen (Zapornia sp.)  

This small and flightless bird is known from subfossil remains that had been found on the island of Ua Huka, Marquesas.  

The species disappeared shortly after the arrival of men on the islands.  

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References:  

[1] David W. Steadman: Extinction and Biogeography of Tropical Pacific Birds. University of Chicago Press 2006  

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edited: 20.03.2018

Papasula abbotti ssp. costelloi Steadman, Schubel & Pahlavan

Costello’s Booby (Papasula abbotti ssp. costelloi)

Costello’s Boby was described in 1988; it is known from subfossil remains, about 1200 years old, that were recovered from archaeological site on the islands of Tahuata and Ua Huka in the Marquesas, French Polynesia.

Despite having been described as a subspecies of Abbott’s Booby (Papasula abbotti (Ridgway)) (see photo), it may in fact have been a distinct species, its exact distribution is not known but it very likely was not restricted to the Marquesas Islands; Abbott’s Booby itself is nowadays strictly restricted to Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean but was once much more widespread.

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Abbott’s Booby (Papasula abbotti)

Photo: Christina Lipka

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

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edited: 09.08.2022

Vini sinotoi Steadman & Zarriello

Sinoto’s Lorikeet (Vini sinotoi)  

The genus Vini contains seven species, two of which are extinct now – all of them are or were endemic to the Polynesian faunal region.  

The populations of all species contracted greatly after the arrival of humans, on the other hand several species were brought to other places by early Polynesians.  

Kuhl’s Lorikeet (Vini kuhlii (Vigors)) for example was, until recently, restricted to the island of Rimatara, Austral Islands, and was actually believed to have always been endemic to that island, but is now known to have once been much more widespread, having inhabited many other islands in the Austral group as well as most of the islands in the Cook Archipelago. The species was introduced to at least two of the atolls in Kiribati by early Polynesians, and was finally reintroduced to the island of ‘Atiu, Cook Islands in 2007.  

The Blue Lorikeet (Vini peruviana (Müller)) was originally probably endemic to the Society Islands, where it is now restricted to two small atolls, but was brought by early Polynesians to Aitutaki in the Cook Islands, and to several atolls in the Tuamotu Archipelago, where it is now much more abundant than in its original range.  

Stephen’s Lorikeet (Vini stepheni (North)) is restricted to Henderson Island, but may probably have been more widespread in former times.  

The Ultramarine Lorikeet (Vini ultramarina (Kuhl)) is endemic to the Marquesas, where it once was widespread, but is now restricted to a single island.  

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Sinoto’s Lorikeet was described in 1987 from subfossil bones which were found on Huahine, Society Islands and on Hiva Oa, Tahuata, and Ua Huka in the Marquesas, thus this species was widely distributed and often lived sympatric with one or two congeneric species.  Sinoto’s Lorikeet was the largest of its genus, and must have reached a size of about 30 cm. [2]  

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BTW: There are very interesting accounts of parrots, said to have formerly occured on several of the Society Islands, mentioned by Teuira Henry in ‘Tahiti aux temps anciens’. [1]  

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References:  

[1] Teuira Henry: Tahiti aux temps anciens; trad. de l’anglais par Bertrand Jaunez. Paris: Société des Océanistes 1951 [2] David W. Steadman: Extinction and Biogeography of Tropical Pacific Birds. University of Chicago Press 2006

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edited: 11.02.2020