Manumea campaign informs Samoans about national bird

The campaign coordinator for the 'National Save the Manumea’ campaign is hoping the campaign’s launch will raise awareness among Samoan people about the plight of their endangered native bird. 

Jane Vaafusuaga is the campaign coordinator for the campaign for the Manumea which is now globally classified as critically endangered, that basically means that it is at a very high risk of extinction in the next twenty years

"As everybody knows well hopefully they know now that Manumea is the native bird of Samoa, that it's almost instinct with maybe 150 to 200 birds left," she said.

The campaign was launched before in 2019 in what was then intended to be a one-year campaign.

"The ‘Save the Manumea Campaign’ that was launched last year in July which was with the New Zealand High Commission [and] their Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and the Deputy Prime Minister [the] Honorable Fiame Naomi,” she said.  

“The more we worked on it the more we realised that it has to continue,” she said. 

They have started awareness programs in the community about Samoa’s most important native bird.

"It's very important, we are just starting to [promote] awareness about the birds with many murals,” she said. 

“The one at Malololelei is the sixth and there is also one in Savaii.”

According to Vaafusuaga they want to paint more murals in Savaii to raise awareness. The main purpose of the murals is for people to know what the Manumea looks like.

"The purpose of the murals were trying to get them as correct as possible, so the authenticity is that people could actually know what the Manumea looks like because not many people have seen it," she said.

“They have artists from New Zealand and some of our local artists to paint these murals and also we had workshops conducted for our local artists. The communities in which the Manumea was seen are the same communities working together in their campaign.

"The communities that we work in are particularly because these are the ones who have seen the manumea in the last ten years. They are Aopo, Salelologa, Malololelei, Uafato and Faleaseela. So that's where we’re targeting to paint our murals.

"For the campaign, we are working very closely with the Samoa Conservation Society who works closely with [Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment]

“Now we are continuing the campaign to just raise awareness.”

She added that the campaign is not only about what the bird looks like but also to let Samoans know that they can play a role in saving the Manumea.

Estimates suggest that there might be 200 Manumea birds left and they can be found around Malololelei, Faleaseela, Uafato, Salelologa, and Aopo.


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