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Abstracts of selected publications
In reverse Chronological order:
Buden, Donald W.  The Birds of Kapingamarangi Atoll, including first record of the Shining Cuckoo (Chrysococcyx lucidus) from Micronesia.  Notornis 45: 141-153 (1998) 1998 Ornithological Society of New Zealand.

Twenty species of birds are recorded from Kapingamarangi Atoll, southern Micronesia, 14 sea and shore birds and six land birds.  Eleven are documented or probable breeders or former breeders.  The Micronesian Starling (Aplonis opaca) is the only native, resident, land bird, and it is common and widespread, averaging 5.7 birds per hectare atoll-wide among the 31 islands.  A kingfisher is reported from Kapingamaringi for the first time, and a recently collected specimen of shining cuckoo (Chrysococcyx lucidus) is the first record for Micronesia and first report of the nominate (New Zealand) subspecies north of the Bismark Archipelago.

Buden, Donald W. Morphological Variation and Distributional Ecology of the Giant Micronesian Gecko (Perochirus scutellatus) of Kapingamarangi Atoll.  Pacific Science (1998), Volume 52, Number 3: 250-258.

Distribution, habitat preferences, and intraspecific variation in the giant Micronesian gecko (Perochirus scutellatus) are discussed for the first time based on 136 recently acquired specimens together with field observations spanning aproximately two months.  Only two specimens, both adult males, have been reported previously in the literature. Perochirus scutellatus is a large (up to 132 mm snout-vent length and 60 g body mass), sexually dimorphic (males larger than females), arboreal, and predominately diurnal gecko known only from Kapingamarangi Atoll (on 18 of 31 islands).   Adults occur mainly on tree trunks (mainly Guettarda speciosa), with densities as high as 25 per tree and encounter rates of up to approximately 150 per hour.   Juveniles were encountered mainly in Cocos leaf axils during the day and in Scaevola bushes along the strand line at night.  Adults are cryptically colored on lichen-coverecd limbs and trunks, being mottled dark brown to pale gray, with small, scattrered whitish flecks and patches, and often faintly washed with yellow green.   Juveniles tned to be paler, brighter (more yellow green), and more uniformly colored than adults.

Buden, Donald W. Rediscovery of the Pohnpei Mountain Starling (Aplonis pelzelni). The Auk, 113(1):229-230, 1996.

A specimen of the Pohnpei Mountain Starling (Aplonia pelzelni) salvaged on 4 July 1995 is the first confirmed record since J.T. Marshall collected two on 7 March 1956. This species is endemic to Pohnpei, a moderately sized (about 355 km2) heavily forested and ruggedly mountainous (about 800 m high) tropical Pacific island. In the most recent literature, A. pelzelni has been reported variously as possibly "near extinction," "possibly extinct," and "extinct."

Buden, Donald W. Reptiles, Birds, and Mammals of Ant Atoll, Eastern Caroline Islands. Micronesica 29(1): 21-26, 1996.

Thirteen species of reptiles, 25 birds, and seven mamals are recorded from Ant Atoll, five of the reptiles, nine birds, and two mammals for the first time. None is endemic to the atoll. All occur on Pohnpei, the nearest high island, and most are widely distributed in Oceania. Established introductions include include the Red Junglefowl (Gallus gallus) and at least four mammals (Rattus rattus, Rattus exulans, Felis Catus, Sus scrofa). The Micronesian Starling (Aplonis opaca) is the most numerous land bird, followed closely by the Micronesian Honeyeater (Myzomela rubratra). Wolouna Island is an important sea bird nesting area, hosting about 6000 pairs of Black Noddies (Anous minutus) and smaller numbers of at least five other species. Subsistence hunting may have a minimal impact on these seabird populations, but an increasing number of recreational visitors and exploitive hunters may present a future threat to populations.

Buden, Donald W. Reptiles, Birds, and Mammals of Pakin Atoll, Eastern Caroline Islands. Micronesica 29(1): 37-48, 1996.

Fifteen species of reptiles, 18 birds, and five mamals are recorded from Pakin Atoll. None is endemic to Pakin and all of the residents tend to be widely distributed throughout Micronesia. Introduced species include four mammals (Rattus exulans, Canis familiaris, Felis Catus, Sus scrofa), the Red Junglefowl (Gallus gallus) among birds, and at least one lizard (Varanus indicus). Of the 17 indigenous birds, ten are presumed or documented breeding residents including four land birds, a heron, and five terns. The Micronesian Honeyeater (Myzomela rubratra) is the most common land bird, followed closely by the Micronesian Starling (Aplonis opaca). The vegetation is mainly cocos forest, considerably modified by the periodic cutting of the undergrowth, deliberately set fires, and the rooting of pigs. Most of the present vertebrate species do not appear to be seriously endangered by present levels of human activity. But the Micronesian Pigeon (Ducala oceanica) is less numerous on the settled islands, probably reflecting an increased hunting pressure, and sea turtles (especially Chelonia mydas) and their eggs are harvested indiscriminately.

Buden, Donald W. Reptiles, Birds, and Mammals of Mokil and Pingelap Atolls, Eastern Caroline Islands. Micronesica 28(1): 9-23, 1995.

This is the first systematic survey of vertebrates on Mokil and Pingalap atolls, Pohnpei State, Federated States of Micronesia. Fourteen species of reptiles, 17 birds, and four mamals are recorded from Mokil Atoll, five of the reptiles and four of the birds for the first time. Eleven speicies of reptiles, 20 birds, and four mammals are recorded from Pingelap Atoll, two of the reptiles and 14 of the birds for the first time. Previous records of of the lizard Lipinia noctua and four birds on Mokil are considered hypothetical or represent introductions that never became established, and they have been omitted from the faunal list. No terrestrial vertebrate is endemic to any of the islands and all the resident species tend to be widespread in Micronesia. The established introductions include all of the mammals (Felis catus, sus scrofa, Rattus exulans), and the Red Junglefowl (Gallus gallus), and the monitor lizard (Varanus indicus). Introduced dogs (Canis familiaris) have been extirpated in recent years. The Micronesian Starling (Aplonis opaca) is the only resident land bird, occurring on Mokil but not on Pingelap. All the terrestrial reptile species occur in forest, the most common habitat, but show perch site selectivity and other habitat preferences.

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