With no sightings of this bird for over 100 years, the Manukalou, or Long-legged Warbler (Trichocichla rufa), was thought to be extinct until it was spotted in the Wabu Forest Reserve on Viti Levu in 2003 by Fiji’s foremost ornithologist, Vilikesa Masibalavu. It is a very secretive ground-dwelling bird that is difficult to see. The Manukalou lives in the dense undergrowth of Fiji’s mature forest. But now that its narrow habitat preferences are known and its call has been recorded, it is more widely found in Fiji. However, is still very much threatened by the predation of introduced mammals such as mongooses, rats and feral cats.
March 22, was World Water Day. For the past three weeks, we have been sharing information about a different bird highlighted in our special edition playing cards, all of which can be found right here in our Fijian forests! We saved the Manukalou for World Water Day, because it was only when it was rediscovered in 2003 that we learnt of the the Manukalou’s preference for waterfalls. #IntlForestDay #IDOF2020