With the revision of the Division of Fish and Wildlife’s CNMI Wildlife Action Plan, acting Lands and Natural Resources secretary Anthony Benavente said the translocation of more Pacific bird species has been successful.
“The CNMI’s Wildlife Action Plan was last completed in 2005 which served as the broad vision for conservation in the CNMI for the next 10 years, including objectives for priority species and actions needed. Our team has gone on many expeditions to complete these efforts and our bird populations are increasing,” he said.
Benavente noted that the Guguan expeditions included the translocation of 54 Tinian monarchs, 48 bridled white-eyes, 54 rufous fantails, and 24 Mariana fruit-doves in May.
During the Sarigan expedition, the team conducted post-translocation surveys, with populations estimated at 713 for golden white-eye, 89 for Mariana fruit-dove, 1092 for rufous fantail, and 9120 for bridled white-eye.
During these expeditions, DLNR documented successful breeding, including nest building. Unbanded birds were observed among the Tinian monarch and surveys were done of vegetation, forest birds, reptiles, and coconut crab in Aguiguan expeditions and additional surveys of Mariana swiftlet, and Pacific sheath-tailed bat.
According to Gov. Ralph DLG. Torres, there have been many notable successes over the last few years in the conservation of many rare species.
“It was not too long ago that this translocation of bird species took place and now the new populations in the Northern Islands have greatly reduced the likelihood of extinction,” Torres said.
With 14 islands under the jurisdiction of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands including offshore banks, reefs and submerged lands, the Wildlife Action Plan has made remarkable progress, Torres said.
Benavente said that post-release monitoring of these species is ongoing.