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Subsistence Harvest of Birds, Fruit Bats, and Other Game in American Samoa, 1990-1991

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Title:Subsistence Harvest of Birds, Fruit Bats, and Other Game in American Samoa, 1990-1991
Authors:Craig, Peter
Morrell, Tom E.
So'oto, Kiso
Date Issued:Oct 1994
Publisher:University of Hawaii Press
Citation:Craig P, Morrell TE, So’oto K. 1994. Subsistence harvest of birds, fruit bats, and other game in American Samoa, 1990-1991. Pac Sci 48(4): 344-352.
Abstract:Terrestrial birds and large pteropodid fruit bats are hunted year-round
for subsistence in American Samoa. To determine harvest levels, 13-18%
of the hunters on the main island of Tutuila were interviewed at 3-month
intervals in 1990-1991. A high opportunistic harvest occurred after extensive
habitat damage caused by a hurricane in February 1990. Adjusting for this
factor, we estimated an annual take of 2100-4200 Pacific pigeons (Ducula pacifica
Gmelin), 500-1000 purple-capped fruit doves (Ptilinopus porphyraceus
Temminck), 500-1600 fruit bats (Pteropus tonganus Quoy & Gaimard and P.
samoensis Peale, species combined), and small numbers of other species. Even
this adjusted harvest rate is extremely high compared with current population
sizes of game animals, which are at low levels due to adverse impacts from three
hurricanes in the past 5 yr and subsequent opportunistic hunting. For example,
after the hurricane in 1990, more bats were harvested than remain alive today.
Consequently, a 3-yr ban on all hunting was enacted, but the situation remains
critical because hunting restrictions are neither well known nor enforced.
Appears in Collections: Pacific Science Volume 48, Number 4, 1994

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