Abstract

Abstract:

Located in the South Pacific Ocean, the Gambier Islands are sometimes presented as an example, with Easter Island, of biodiversity collapse provoked by overexploitation of the natural resources by the Polynesian people during the course of several centuries. However, when comparing the list of bird bones obtained from archaeological sites with the data obtained and specimens collected by naturalists from the end of the eighteenth century to the mid-twentieth century, we show that land-bird extinction continued uninterrupted, mostly due to introduced predators and the continuous loss of wooded areas. Conversely, the list of breeding seabirds has remained relatively stable, but the number of breeding sites has decreased owing to introduction of predators, especially the cat and black rat. Today these sites are restricted to cliffs on the main islands and to remote islets.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-6188
Print ISSN
0030-8870
Pages
pp. 271-281
Launched on MUSE
2017-01-01
Open Access
No
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