Model Species Recovery Plan Project (MSRP)

About MSRP Project

Tonga Trust has received grant under the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund to develop a model species recovery plan for Polynesian megapode. Polynesian megapode (Megapodius Pritchardi), locally known in Tonga as Malau (ʻo Vailahi) is endemic to Tonga. According to archaeological findings, malau was existed in a number of different islands in Tonga. However, over the years, they disappeared from all these other islands except Niuafoʻou. Some of the research undertaken in the 1960s and 1990s saw a severe decline in the population of malau in Niuafoʻou. It raises alarm among researchers and scientists and was then listed under the IUCN Species Red List as Critically Endangered.

In 1993, the joint conservation program between the Government of Tonga and the German based Brehmn Fund for International Bird Conservation organised the translocation of 95 eggs and chicks to Founalei and Late islands in the Vavaʻu group. A decade later, Dr. Dick Watling paid a visit to the translocation sites and found it to be successful, especially in Fonualei island.


To develop A Model Species Recovery Plan for Endangered Species in Tonga, and malau (Polynesian Megapode) in particular.

Expected outcomes

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