What better way to spend the day than to learn about new species that you didn’t know existed? Today you will learn about the Micronesian Megapode, a species that is in danger of extinction.
Where is this species found?
It is scientifically named megapodius lapeoruse, and is a species of galliform bird of the family megapodiidae that lives in the Mariana Islands and Palau.
Their habitat is the tropical forests on the island, only approaching the coast when it is time to reproduce. It is currently estimated that there are only 2000 live specimens.
What does it look like?
It is a medium-sized species measuring about 35 cm. The female appears to be identical to the male, although in some cases it is smaller, but there have been cases to the contrary. No visible sexual dimorphism.
Most of your body is covered by a black plumage that is less strong in the lower areas of your body. Its head has a light grey plumage, with brown spots in the neck area.
Its legs are yellow, with a black beak on the upper jaw and a yellow lower jaw. Its iris is a dark brown color.
Two subspecies have been recognized:
- Megapodius laperouse senex: This species is found on the island of Palau.
- Megapodius laperouse lapeoruse: It lives in the north of the island Mariana.
Has the species been investigated?
The truth is that there is very little information regarding this bird. It is believed to be omnivorous, feeding on small insects, small reptiles, some fruits and even some plants in its habitat.
It seems to be a rather cautious, shy bird that can become quite violent when an invading bird enters its territory. It is not uncommon for there to be many clashes throughout the day. They are not able to fly long distances, but thanks to their long legs, they are excellent runners.
Unlike other members of the genus talegalo, this time it is the female who makes the hole, in an area of volcanic soil. After mating with the male, it will go to its nest and lay its eggs. Eggs are not always from the same parent, as they mate with different males. They will cover the nest with volcanic soil and the chicks will be born one or two months later. After leaving the nest, the chicks will be alone.
The species is in serious danger of extinction due to the indiscriminate hunting it has suffered over the years. In addition, due to their peculiar system of incubating eggs, the survival rate of the hatchlings is quite low. And although the nest appears to be well hidden, it is an easy target for some species that look for food on the ground and take advantage of the fact that the eggs are unprotected to devour them. For this reason, a protection perimeter has been established to allow the species to continue to grow.