Fatu Hiva MonarchThe Fatu Hiva Monarch a.k.a. ’Oma’o ke’eke’e (Pomarea whitneyi) is endemic to the island of Fatu Hiva in the Marquesas and is listed as critically endangered (CR) by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN).
Recent surveys counted less than 50 monarchs remaining on the island. In 2006 the size of this population was 275 birds and thousands in the eighties. The rapid decrease was alarming, but it has slowed down for the past 4 years (there was a 60% territory loss rate between 2007 and 2009, that dropped to only 30% between 2009 and 2011). In 2013, 29 individuals were living in managed areas, but there were only 6 fertile couples for the whole species!!
However, there is hope. Between 2008 and 2013, 26 juveniles left the nest and have colonized the protected areas. Juveniles are easily identifiable by their white to brown feathers; the adults are entirely black.
Tahiti MonarchTahiti Monarch or 'Ōmāma'o (Pomarea nigra), endemic to Tahiti, is listed as critically endangered.
In 1998, there were only 12 birds left on the island. Manu therefore organized its rescue through restless actions aiming at protecting the few nests against rats and other predators.
As of now, the count is up to 46 adult birds, including 17 pairs of which 11 were breeding in 2014.
Photo: Tahiti Monarch - Photo credits: Fred Jacq
Awareness and trainingWithin its possibilities, the association:
- organises and takes part in various awareness-raising events such as the « Environmental Days » and conferences
- communicates with local media (radio, television)
- runs projects with schools
- coordinates field trips (birdwatching, audio recording, photoshooting...)
Survey field workManu conducts several ecological assessments throughout the french polynesian islands, from logistics to fieldwork.
One example, in June 2012, a team of scientists (botanist, marine biologist and ornithologists) plus one local guide reached three uninhabited atolls south of the Tuamotu (Morane, Vahanga, Tenarunga). These atolls being so remote, very few boats come alongside. The purpose of this mission was to draw up an inventory of the existing fauna and flora for a rat eradication project.
Photo : Morane atoll is localised in the Southern Tuamotu archipelago, 1400km East of Tahiti and 160km South of the nearest atoll (Maria).
Biosecurity of Ua HukaUa Huka is the last of the inhabited islands in the Marquesas archipelago still free of black rats. The introduction of the black rat would mean the end of two endemic birds: the Pihiti a.k.a. ultramarin Lorikeet (Vini ultramarina) and the Pati’oti’o a.k.a. Iphis Monach (Pomarea iphis).
The Pihiti used to be present on other marquesian islands aswell: Nuku Hiva, Ua Pou, Tahuata, Hiva Oa and Fatu Hiva (reintroduced in the 90’s).
The black rat is also the prime cause for the disappearance of Mornachidaes.
Biosecurity of RimataraRimatara is the last black rat free island in the Australes archipelago.
The colonisation of black rats on this island would lead to the certain death of the only French Polynesian population of ‘Ura , or Kuhl’s Lorikeet (Vini Kuhlii). It would also affect the ‘Oromao, or Rimatara Reed-warbler (Acrocephalus rimatarae) which is endemic to Rimatara.
These birds not only hold heritage significance but can also help supporting a sustainable economic development through an ecotourism activity like birdwatching.