An expedition near to completion after so much efforts to saving two of the world’s rarest birds!

Richard reports via Satellite COMMs Link – July 6, 2015: 

Ia ora na

Since my last update and the completion of activities on Temoe and the Gambier Islets we endured some wet conditions on Manui and Makaroa and an enforced day off in Rikitea because poor flying conditions prevented us from reaching Vahanga.

Luckily the weather cleared and we got through on July 3rd and completed the effort on Vahanga in what was a very big day for everyone.

Equipe de choc sur Tenarunga

I don’t know why I am saying that because every day on this project has been a big one for the entire team.

The following day we transferred equipment and supplies from Vahanga to Tenarunga for collection by the Nuku Hau and knocked out nearly all of the baiting on Tenarunga.


Filled some gaps the following day and consolidated the equipment and gear that will return to Tahiti and the US before departing by helicopter for Tureia.

Tenarunga4-juin2015_préparation helicoptere (Roberto Luta)

The plan had been for us to sail to Tureia on board the Shark, but it failed to show. Apparently the skipper had been frightened off by a forecast of 6m swells that have yet to eventuate.

In the last few days of the project more Polynesian Ground-doves were sighted on Vahanga and Tenarunga so the chances of finding established populations in 12 months are high.

Titi were also still in attendance on Vahanga at the project’s conclusion, another great sign of things to come.

Looking forward to catching up with you albeit remotely in the near future.

Best regards


You can also read Richard’s first and second update from the field.


About this project
BirdLife International, with SOP Manu (BirdLife Partner in French Polynesia) and Island Conservation, is leading an extensive island restoration operation in a remote area of French Polynesia to save Critically Endangered birds species and restore the delicate ecological balance.

Our ambitious project is restoring the Acteon & Gambier archipelagos to their former glory, safe and ready for the reintroduction of Tuamotu Sandpiper and Polynesian Ground-dove, and benefiting many other wildlife.

By sharing transport, equipment and expertise, we’ve significantly reduced the cost of restoring all six islands that are threatened, but is nonetheless our biggest project of the decade.

Additional technical assistance has come from the Pacific Invasives Intiative and the New Zealand Department of Conservation.

This project has received support from many international and national organisations with significant funding from the European Union, the British Birdwatching Fair, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and The Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund; sponsorships from Bell Laboratories and T-Gear Trust Canada; and assistance from the Government of French Polynesia and many individual people around the world.

But crucially we still need your help! Please support us!