|Scientific Name:||Macgregoria pulchra|
|Species Authority:||De Vis, 1897|
|Taxonomic Notes:||Macgregoria pulchra (Sibley and Monroe 1990, 1993) is moved to the family Meliphagidae following Cracraft and Feinstein (2000).|
|Red List Category & Criteria:||Vulnerable B1ab(ii,iii,iv,v);C2a(i) ver 3.1|
|Reviewer/s:||Butchart, S. & Symes, A.|
|Contributor/s:||Beehler, B., Gibbs, D. & Gregory, P.|
Although this species is poorly known, it seems likely that its total population is small and fragmented across a small range and is declining, leading to classification as Vulnerable. If further information shows that its population is even smaller, the species would warrant uplisting to a higher threat category.
|Range Description:||Macgregoria pulchra is distributed in small disjunct populations in the highest mountains of New Guinea, namely the Snow, Oranje and Star Mountains of Papua (formerly Irian Jaya), Indonesia, and the Wharton and Owen Stanley ranges of Papua New Guinea. It remains common and tame above 3,000 m in the Star Mountains, where the Ketengban people protect the species for cultural reasons (Frith and Beehler 1998), but is rare on Mt Albert Edward in the Whartons, with only one record since 1933 (Safford and Smart 1996). The species was found to be fairly common in this area, but moved with apparent changes in fruiting and habitat (B. Beehler in litt. 2012). There are no population estimates but most records are of only one to three birds. Its occupied range has been estimated at less than 1,000 km2 with minimal interchange between the isolated subpopulations (Frith and Beehler 1998).|
Native:Indonesia; Papua New Guinea
|Range Map:||Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.|
|Population:||The population is estimated to number 2,500-9,999 mature individuals based on an assessment of known records, descriptions of abundance and range size. This is consistent with recorded population density estimates for congeners or close relatives with a similar body size, and the fact that only a proportion of the estimated Extent of Occurrence is likely to be occupied. This estimate is equivalent to 3,750-14,999 individuals, rounded here to 3,500-15,000 individuals.|
|Habitat and Ecology:||
It is restricted to subalpine forest, including patches within alpine grassland, dominated by its major food-plant, the podocarp Dacrycarpus compactus. Its partial nomadism and its breeding cycle are tied to the unpredictable fruiting of this tree (Beehler 1981, Beehler 1983, Beehler 1991a, b, Hicks and Burrows 1992, Frith and Beehler 1998). Birds also forage for other fruits in low bushes and on the ground, and in epiphytes and foliage, presumably for arthropods (Clapp 1986, Safford and Smart 1996, Frith and Beehler 1998). It is most commonly recorded between 3,200-3,500 m, but occasionally from 2,700-4,000 m (Frith and Beehler 1998).
Its absence from great swathes of the central highlands suggests historic extinctions from habitat changes and hunting pressures (Barker and Croft 1977, Frith and Beehler 1998). It is a popular gamebird, being tame, conspicuous and site-faithful (Beehler 1981, Frith and Beehler 1998). However shotguns are essentially no longer available in New Guinea making hunting (with traditional means) more difficult. The threat from hunting is exacerbated by its nomadism and its small, fragmented populations. Whilst much of its range is remote and inaccessible to hunters, new roads such as one in Wamena in Papua, are enabling much easier access and it has declined greatly at this site (P. Gregory in litt. 1999, D. Gibbs in litt. 2000). Climate change and associated impacts on vegetation may impact negatively on this species and others dependent on tundra habitat for breeding.
Conservation Actions Underway
This species is protected by law in both countries. Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey unvisited mountains within range. Estimate range and populations at known sites. Monitor numbers at most accessible sites. Research population structure and dispersal between locations. Investigate population trends through interviews with local hunters. Investigate hunting levels and attitudes to control amongst hunters. Create large, locally-managed forest reserves with an enforced hunting ban. Run awareness and education programmes for landowners. Enforce existing legislation. Use as a flagship species for any high-altitude ecotourism initiatives.
|Citation:||BirdLife International 2012. Macgregoria pulchra. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 20 June 2013.|
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