Martin Thibault

Doctor of Philosophy, (Zoology)
Study Completed: 2018
College of Sciences


Thesis Title
The red vented-bulbul (Pycnonotus cafer): invasion dynamic and ecological impacts of an introduced pest bird in New Caledonia and implications for man

The red-vented bulbul, a passerine bird native to the Indian subcontinent, is considered one of the '100 world's worst invasive alien species' by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Transported widely, and introduced as a cage bird into several tropical archipelagos since the early 19th century, its range on the main island (Grande-Terre) of New Caledonia is currently expanding. Apart from data from Hawaii, Fiji and French Polynesia, very few quantitative data were available on the agricultural and ecological impacts of this species and on how to manage it. Mr Thibault investigated the invasion dynamics and ecological impacts of the red-vented bulbul in New Caledonia and produced recommendations for its management. Among other results, he found that the bird is responsible for substantial losses of fruit production, adversely affects the abundance of native bird species, and disperses seeds of introduced plant species to the potential detriment of endemic species.

Professor Murray Potter
Associate Professor Phil Battley
Dr Fabrice Brescia
Dr Eric Vidal