Food Resources of the Raggiana Bird-of-Paradise (Paradisaea raggiana) along Tropical Forest Corridors within a Savannah Landscape.

Year: 2019

Author: Pulotu, Challis, Katovai, Eric

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

The Raggiana Bird-of-Paradise (BOP) within the Paradisaeidae family are one of the highly desired bird species to be studied on Earth due to their rarity, colourful plumage and cultural importance. Despite research being done previously on its breeding, feeding, nesting, and associated cultural ties, almost nothing is known as to the possibility of re-introduction of the Paradisaea raggiana (P. raggiana)in a tropical forest corridor.

This study examined and compared known food resource availability of the P. raggianaat Varirata National Park (VNP) in comparison to that of Whisky Creek (WC) to see how the P. raggianawould fare if forest corridors are conserved. Belt transect methods were used at both sites consisting of twenty plots, each measuring 50x20 metres, where all tree species above two metres were collected. These were later identified online using the online James Cook University tropical herbarium and help from the University of Papua New Guinea’s Herbarium.

We identified that food resources available at VNP and WC are very similar across sites, but the difference lies in the floristic composition and abundance of food resources or plant specimens between sites. Out of all food resources at VNP the Meliaceae Dysoxylum sp.was most abundant which the P. raggianalikes to feed on predominantly, while WC has high abundance of Moraceae Ficus sp.and Myrtaceae Syzygium sp. These enable for long-term outcomes to substitute food resources and conserve tropical forest corridors for the P. raggiana from VNP to WC.