Conservation status: VULNERABLE
Common name: Moluccan megapode/Wallace’s Scrubfowl/Painted megapode
Scientific name: Eulipoa wallacei
Diet: Unknown (likely to be omnivorous)
Length: 29 cm – 31 cm
Weight: 510 g (Adult: Male), 490 g – 510 g (Adult: Female)
The Moluccan megapode is an Indonesian endemic that can only be found in the hills and mountain forests of the Maluku Islands.
These seemingly harmless birds, however, are terrible parents. They don’t pay much attention to their eggs; they just dig a hole, throw sand over the egg, and fly off. As result, the eggs are left vulnerable to predators like snakes that can easily recognize where the eggs have been buried.
It was truly surprising to discover how less the parents cared about their future chicks. It made me wonder, from an evolutionary biology perspective, how such behaviors could have persisted throughout multiple generations. Today, biggest threat comes from the habitat loss (logging, mining, and tourism) rather than poor parenting.
- BirdLife International (2012). “Eulipoa wallacei“. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2.
- “Moluccan Scrubfowl (Eulipoa Wallacei)”. Hbw.Com. https://www.hbw.com/species/moluccan-scrubfowl-eulipoa-wallacei.
- “Moluccan Scrubfowl | Oriental Bird Club”. Orientalbirdclub.Org. https://orientalbirdclub.org/moluccan-scrubfowl/.