Photo credit: Ron Hoff
The Tahiti Monarch, Pomarea nigra, is listed as ‘CRITICALLY ENDANGERED’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™. Restricted to the west coast of Tahiti, this small flycatcher numbers fewer than 50 individuals – just 23 were counted in 2009.
This species was rare throughout the last century, though the reasons for this are not entirely clear. The botanical pest Miconia calvescens appears to have played a big part by seriously reducing habitat quality and extent. Moreover, the introduced Black Rat preys on eggs and chicks, and the introduced Red-vented Bulbul and Common Myna may also be competing
with the Tahiti Monarch for resources. With such a small range and tiny population, the Tahiti Monarch is particularly vulnerable to any chance events, such as hurricanes.
Rat control has allowed Tahiti Monarch numbers to start recovering, while further planned conservation measures include improving habitat quality (for example, by removing invasive plants), controlling introduced birds, and initiating a captive breeding programme. Hopefully, these efforts will allow the fragile population to continue its initial recovery.
Geographic Range of the Tahiti Monarch
Credit: IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™
To learn more about the Tahiti Monarch, click here. Or visit the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ by clicking their logo below.
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