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An ornithological survey of Vanuatu on the islands of Éfaté, Malakula, Gaua, and Vanua Lava

Andersen, Michael J.; Fatdal, Lilly; Mauck III, William M.; Smith, Brian Tilston

We surveyed forest birds on 4 islands in Vanuatu from November–December 2014, including sites on Éfaté, Malakula, Gaua, and Vanua Lava Islands. Here, we summarize our survey results and place them into the context of prior ornithological surveys in Vanuatu. We recorded 44 species across all survey sites, including eight species endemic to Vanuatu and another 6 species endemic to the region of Southern Melanesia. We collected voucher specimens of 26 species and made 98 recordings of vocalizations from 24 species. Malakula was the most diverse site we surveyed with 35 native species. We observed differences in breeding phenology across islands and between species within survey sites. There was more evidence of breeding by birds on Éfaté and Malakula than on Gaua and Vanua Lava. Finally, we present local bird names from each surveyed site as described by village elders and local guides.

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