Since its extinction on Hiva Oa, due to the introduction of the Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus), the only remaining population of pahi a.k.a. Marquesan Kingfisher (Todiramphus godeffroyi) is found on Tahuata.
This species, endemic to the Marquesas islands, is classified as Critically Endangered. Its estimated population was of 451 birds in 2011, and is still declining owing to the impact of habitat deterioration and introduced predators.
We want to pay tribute to Louis Tohetia Timau, who left us in 2020 and who was the great defender of pahi on Tahuata. He explored his island in every corner, constantly looking for occupied nests or new breeding areas. Since October 2012, he also proceeded to audio monitoring at night, in the valleys of Tahuata, in order to verify the absence of the Great Horned Owl. Indeed, the two islands of Hiva oa (where the nocturnal birds of prey have been introduced) and Tahuata are only 4km apart. Such a narrow water band does not seem impassable for an owl.
FAREWELL MISTER PAHI…
Contact numbers to discover the pahi:
Tahuata City Hall (+689) 40 92 92 19
Various trip possibilities are proposed throughout the island. Tohetia knows every pahi territory in the Vaitahu and Hapatoni areas like the back of his hand. Some of the most beautiful ones, located on the edge of heavenly beaches, are quite worth the travel.
This invasive species has been placed on the French Polynesian approved list of “species to be extirpated”. The inhabitants of Hiva Oa are now aware of his threat and contribute to reduce his population.
Visitors would have to travel to Hiva Oa first, either by plane (Air Tahiti) or by boat (Aranui, a passenger-cargo ship).
Then Tahuata is just 50 minutes away by boat (with the communal catamaran Tahuata Nui ). You may also reach it faster by speed-boat.
To rent a boat see Leo Rohi : B.P. 182 Atuona, Hiva Oa – Tél: +689 40 927 657
E-mail : email@example.com
Concerning your accomodation on the island, you will have to contact directly the Tahuata City Hall (ask Solange): (+689) 40 92 92 19.
For guest-houses, see :
To know more, please visit the Tahiti Tourisme website: “Tahuata, l’île du mono’i“