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 Endangered species petrel and monarch from Tahiti
  Issue : janvier 25 of 2019
  Printing : Offset
  Imprimerie : Phil@poste
  Production : FARE RATA 2019
  Related products :
   - First day covers

The Tahiti Petrel or Noha in tahitian (Pterodroma
rostrata) is a marine bird of average size of 85
cm. Its wings are brown, the head and top of the
body are black-brown, the belly is pure white. The
strong beak is slightly hooked and black; the legs
are palmed and pink. It is observed throughout the
South Pacific where it nests on volcanic islands only.
It breeds in the archipelago of the Society (Tahiti,
Moorea, Raiatea, etc.) but also in the Marquesas, in
the Austral islands and Gambiers. It also breeds in
Samoa and New Caledonia. Nests are established in
mountains on ridges between 600 m and the highest
peaks, often far from the sea in deep burrows of 1
to 3 m, dug into earth under roots. The burrows are
visited only at night and the laying has a single white
egg. The reproduction period is quite long, from
March to October. It has high pitch whistle heard all
year, at night, in flight when the birds come and go
to their nest. He’s quiet at sea. The bird has a fast
and undulating flight, often gliding, the wings remain
rigid. Generally it is seen alone at sea up to 50-60 km
from the coast where it feeds squid, fish and small
crustaceans. Young people are attracted to artificial
lighting in urban areas and run aground. Volunteers
from the Manu Association pick them up and release
• The Tahiti Monarch or ’Ômama’o in tahitian
(Pomarea nigra) is a small bird (15 cm) with a plumage
entirely metallic black in adults; the young is orange.
The beak is grey and the legs are bluish grey. It is
only found on the island of Tahiti in three valleys on
the west coast. Common at the beginning of the
nineteenth century, it became extremely rare and
close to extinction with a population of 20 birds known
in 1998. It is a mainly forest bird, but its habitat was
once very wide (from sea level to 750 to 1500 m and
above). Today it is confined to reduced valley bottom
areas with diverse vegetation. The birds, whose song
is strong but melodious with metallic sonorities, very
actively defend a territory of a few hectares. Their diet
consists of small insects, spiders and caterpillars that
are actively captured in tree vegetation. The nest, in
the form of a cup, is built of moss decorated with
cobwebs, preferentially in Mara tree (Neonauclea
forsteri). The reproduction begins around August and
lasts until January-February. The female lays only one
egg a year (rarely a second laying can follow a failure).
The youngster with grey down is fed alternatively by
both parents and flies away after two weeks. The
decline of the species is due to the proliferation of
its predators (rats, introduced birds, cats). Since the
Manu Association (Polynesia Ornithological Society)
has been working on its rescue, the numbers have
risen to nearly 80 birds in 2018.

The monarch from Tahiti
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The petrel from Tahiti
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