PALAU

Crucial Land Purchase to Save Palau’s Megapodes

Project Cost: $222,233

Funding Raised: $222,233

$2920 per acre (1 acre = 43,560 sq ft)

100% of your donation goes towards Conservation Action.

2X The Impact

Thanks to generous support from our donors, we have successfully reached our fundraising goal for this project.

The tranquil island nation of Palau is home to the Micronesian Scrubfowl, a rare and Endangered bird locally known as the Micronesian Megapode. In Palau, the most important nesting habitat for this bird is found on a tiny island of Kayangel atoll, while the island of Peleliu is a vital foraging area for populations to the south. While both islands are remote, they are completely unprotected and face the threat of future development.

Rainforest Trust and local partner the Palau Conservation Society (PCS) seek $222,233 to safeguard 76 acres of unprotected privately-owned land through land purchase and designation on two separate islands. The MVP Forest of Hope reserve will be the first protected area on the island of Peleliu. It is also a famous WWII memorial, Bloody Nose Ridge, that honors veterans of the longest and bloodiest battle of the Pacific war. The Ngeriungs Bird Sanctuary will be established on Kayangel atoll, a small island that is uninhabited and prime megapode habitat. This project will incorporate private lands into Palau’s National Protected Areas Network, and the proposed protected areas will safeguard approximately 20 percent of Palau’s total nesting sites of the Endangered Micronesian Megapode.

Fast Facts

Location
Pacific islands of Peleliu and Kayangel, Palau

Size
76 acres

Key Species (Based on IUCN Red List)
Hawksbill Turtle (CR), Micronesian Scrubfowl (EN), Green Turtle (EN)

Habitat
Coastal limestone forest

Threats
Habitat loss due to human disturbance, invasive species

Action
Create MVP Forest of Hope in Peleliu and Ngeriungs Bird Sanctuary in Kayangel

Local Partner
The Palau Conservation Society (PCS)

Financial Need
$222,233

Price per Acre
$2,920

Biodiversity

Often shy and secretive, Endangered Micronesian Megapodes (also known as Micronesian Scrubfowls) nest in large burrows that incubate the eggs through the heat of the sun or geothermal activity.

Peleliu has the most diverse avifauna in Palau, with populations of Micronesian Megapodes, Palau Ground-doves, Giant White-eyes and Micronesian Imperial Pigeons. Critically Endangered Hawksbill Turtles and Endangered Green Turtles nest on the sandy beaches of the proposed Kayangel site.

Challenges

The greatest threat to the survival of the Endangered Micronesian Megapode in both Peleliu and Kayangel is loss of habitat and nesting grounds due to human development.

Predation from invasive alien species such as rats is also a major concern. As megapodes’ nesting grounds are located in low lying coastal areas, they are highly vulnerable to sea level rise and extreme weather events that impact Palau.

Communities

The communities of Peleliu and Kayangel combined are home to 800 resident Palauan families, who predominantly practice subsistence farming and engage in small scale fisheries, as well as produce local handicrafts.

Solutions

Rainforest Trust seeks $222,233 to support our local partner in safeguarding 76 acres of unprotected, privately-owned land through land purchase and designation as MVP Forest of Hope in Peleliu and Ngeriungs Bird Sanctuary in Kayangel.

This project will incorporate private lands into Palau’s National Protected Areas Network, and the proposed protected areas will safeguard approximately 20 percent of Palau’s total nesting sites of the Endangered Micronesian Megapode. Our partner will conduct consultations with numerous stakeholders, and the formal designation process will require public hearings with community discussions. Once the protected areas are established, patrols will be carried out by unarmed conservation rangers to prevent the poaching of birds and eggs.