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AuthorD.W. Steadman
TitleThe biogeography and extinction of megapodes in Oceania
JournalZoologische Verhandelingen
Volume327
Year1999
Pages7-21
KeywordsMegapodiidae; biogeography; extinction; Oceania
AbstractThe arrival of prehistoric peoples in Oceania over the past several millennia resulted in the extinction of many species and populations of megapodes. Before these anthropogenic losses, species of megapodes ranged across Melanesia, Western Polynesia, and much of Micronesia. Island groups that lack megapodes today but were inhabited by them in the past include New Caledonia, Fiji, the Ha`apai Group and `Eua (Tonga), Samoa, Niue, and Pohnpei. The extinct megapodes varied in size from a tiny, quail-like species of Megapodius in Tonga to the large, flightless Sylviornis of New Caledonia. Remote Tongan islands as small as 13 km2 were able to sustain three species of Megapodius before human impact, thus calling into question the validity of using modern species assemblages to understand the function of natural communities.
Classification42.83
Note(Proceedings of the Third International Megapode Symposium, Nhill, Australia, December 1997)
Document typearticle
Download paperpdf document http://www.repository.naturalis.nl/document/46259