Buff-bellied Monarch

Dubi Shapiro
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Vanuatu or Republic of Vanuatu is an archipelago located in the South Pacific Ocean, 1,750 km E of N Australia, 540 km NE of New Caledonia, E of New Guinea, SW of the Salomon Islands and W of Fiji.
Vanuatu is a Y-shaped archipelago of about 82 fairly small islands of volcanic origin, and 65 of them are inhabited. They extend over 1,300 km and about 12,000 km².

The highest point is the Mount Tabwemasana with 1,879 metres on Espiritu Santo, the largest island of the group.  

Most of these islands are steep. The shoreline is rocky with fringing reefs. The continental shelf is absent and the coasts drop rapidly into the ocean depths. Volcanic activity is common with several active volcanoes, including underwater.

The increasing human population involve heavy pressure on land and resources for agriculture, grazing, hunting and fishing. Most islands are degraded through deforestation, conversion to coconut plantations and cattle ranches. In addition, soil erosion and landslides are increasing.

Many islands of the group are covered by dense rainforest, whereas the drier regions have patches of savanna grassland. Evergreen cloud forests are growing on the high mountains.

Vanuatu does not have a great number of birds (121 species), but it is a unique and little known region. There are 21 restricted range species and the isolation of this area has led to the development of 8 endemics.

These islands are home to rare, amazing and beautiful birds, thanks to different habitat types. They are often hard to see, but you can find the 9 endemics on this page.     

Text by Nicole Bouglouan

Text sources:

Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia

Fat Birder - Republic of Vanuatu

Vanuatu Birds and Where to Find Them

BirdLife steps up conservation work in Vanuatu


List of the endemic species:

Buff-bellied Monarch - Neolalage banksiana - Monarque des Banks 

Mountain Starling - Aplonis santovestris - Stourne d’Espiritu Santo

Tanna Fruit Dove - Ptilinopus tannensis - Ptilope de Tanna

Vanuatu Imperial-Pigeon - Ducula bakeri - Carpophage de Baker

Vanuatu Kingfisher - Todiramphus farquhari - Martin-chasseur à ventre roux

Vanuatu Petrel - Pterodroma occulta - Pétrel de Vanuatu

Vanuatu Scrubfowl - Megapodius layardi - Mégapode de Layard

Vanuatu White-eye - Zosterops flavifrons - Zostérops à front jaune

White-bellied Honeyeater - Glycifohia notabilis - Méliphage des Nouvelles-Hébrides


Sources: Avibase (Lepage Denis)