Endangered Species in the Pacific Islands
Mariana swiftlet / Aerodramus bartschi / Chachaguak
Habitat & Behavior:
Past & Present:
In 1987, The Guam Division of Aquatic and WIldlife Resources estimated that only one swiflet colony of 400 birds, the Mahlac Cave colony, occurred on Guam. Currently three colonies are known to occur on the island. In 2005, the Mahlac Cave colony included 600-800 birds. The Fachi Cave colony included 45-95 birds, and the Maemong colony included 70 birds.
In 1984 and 1985, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Division of Fish and Wildlife estimated a population of 970 birds on Aguiguan and over 3,000 birds on Saipan. Estimates from known caves in 2005 place the population on Aguiguan and Saipan at 300-500 and 5,300, respectively.
Brown treesnake control around the colonies on Guam is being undertaken by the Navy. The CNMI has also initiated cockroach control in some of the caves on Saipan to reduce nest failures. Plans for reestablishing populations in northern Guam and Rota through translocation are also being considered.