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Marquesas Monarch

Monarque des Marquises - Photo Fred Jacq

Monarque des Marquises – Photo Fred Jacq


7 inches. For the adult plumage, the males are black, the females are white (on the chest, stomach, back, rump and tail) and black (on the head and much of the wings). Juveniles and young adults are brown-orange with dark brown patches that increase with age. The legs are blue and the beak is black.

Order: Passeriformes

Family: Monarchidae

Category: Endemic Birds


Marquesas Islands. Previously present on the islands of Nuku Hiva, Ua Pou, Mohotane, Tahuata, Hiva Oa, these birds only survive on the island of Mohotane.


Dense and lush vegetation, elevated forests above 550 m. Young individuals tend to gather on the coastal regions.

« tchip-tchip-tchip… » ou « tip-tip-tip… » noisy when in danger. It raises his tail perpendicular to the body and throws his head backward.

To listen the Marquesas Monarch:

Insects and spiders, plants, small lizards.

Males are aggressive and defend their territory from one to two hectares with force even outside the breeding season. Females lay one to two eggs. The nests are established on the branches of tall trees. The reproduction is probably spread over the whole year.

Original text by Caroline BLANVILLAIN – Supplements and update by various members of the SOP Manu.



Scientific Name: Pomarea mendozae ((Hartlaub, 1854)

Subspecies: motanensis

Polynesian Names:
Kokohuia (Nuku Hiva), pati’oti’o (Ua pou, Nuku Hiva), koma’o atu’a, komako atua (Hiva Oa, Tahuata Mohotane)

  • Marquesas (Mohotane only)


There are only 200-250 pairs of Marquesan Monarch on the small island of Mohotane.
The introduction of Common Myna, Acridotheres tristis (present only on Hiva Oa) or Red-vented Bulbul, Pycnonotus cafer (still absent in the Marquesas), which attack broods of Tahiti Monarchs, Pomarea nigra on Tahiti, would have a negative impact. Deforestation and habitat degradation on the Mohotane Island are currently a serious problem for the survival of the species. The island has been classified by the territory but paradoxically serves as a reserve for sheep while they destroy its herbaceous layer and prevent the regeneration of the habitat. The current harvesting of miro or rosewood (Thespesia populnea) or tou (Cordia subcordata) done on this island sometimes massively by the inhabitants of nearby islands for carving handicrafts is quite intensive. Especially in the absence of measures to allow regeneration of the forests of the island to preserve the habitat of this species in danger of extinction.

This species is listed in category A, the list of species protected by the territorial regulations of French Polynesia.
It is classified as “Endangered” (EN) on the IUCN Red List.