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A group of villagers in Vanuatu are concerned that continuing development pressures are contributing to the over-exploitation of eggs of the Vanuatu Megapode Megapodius layardi. The Vanuatu Megapode or “namalau” as it is known locally, is endemic to the country and classified as Vulnerable. Repeating a previous survey carried out in 1995, the Vanuatu Protected Areas Initiative mapped and classified the burrows at three communal nesting grounds on north-west Ambrym in November 1996. The number of active and probably active burrows on the beach was low compared with 1995, whereas it was higher on both the raised promontories. The beach nesting site had recently been affected by a cyclone, and storm waves had inundated the area with the highest concentration of burrows. There is concern over the high percentage of megapode burrows checked by villagers at Buwoma, as well as the localized impact visitors could be having. Discussions with villagers raised useful points to be included in the proposed protection plan, particularly the support for a protected area.
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