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Ua Pou Monarch Pomarea mira
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This species, known only from the island of Ua Pou in the Marquesas, French Polynesia, was last recorded in 1985 despite searches in 1989, 1990, 1998 and 1999. Habitat loss and degradation, owing to over-grazing and fires, as well as predation by introduced mammals may have driven the species to extinction. However, a recent unconfirmed report of an adult male observed on Ua Pou in 2010 has raised hopes that the species may be extant and so its status has been changed to Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct).

Taxonomic source(s)
Cibois, A.; Thibault, J.-C.; Pasquet, E. 2004. Biogeography of Eastern Polynesian Monarchs (Pomarea): an endemic genus close to extinction. Condor 106: 837-851.

Taxonomic note
Pomarea mendozae (Sibley and Monroe 1990, 1993) has been split into P. mendozae, P. mira and P. nukuhivae following Cibois et al. (2004).

Distribution and population
Pomarea mira was formerly endemic to the island of Ua Pou in the Marquesas Islands, French Polynesia. The last record was in March 1985, when two birds in immature plumage were seen in Hakahetau valley (Thibault and Meyer 2001). It was not located during 1989, 1990 or during intensive searches in 1998 and 1999 (Anon. 1998, Thibault and Meyer 2001), and has been considered Extinct ever since. However, a bird matching the monarch's description was observed by a walker on the island in 2010. Confirmation of the record would represent a remarkable rediscovery of a bird thought certain to be extinct, however a week-long survey of Ua Pou in June 2013 (although not exclusively targeting the species) failed to locate any birds, and any remaining population must be tiny (P. Raust in litt. 2012, 2013).

Population justification
Any remaining population is presumed to be tiny.

This mainly insectivorous species occurred in forested valleys at high elevations and in degraded forest at all altitudes (probably originally preferring lowland forests which are now destroyed).

All the Marquesas Islands have been devastated by intense grazing and fire, and much of the original dry forest has been reduced to grassland, and upland forest to relict forest patches. Introduced species are also likely to have played a role in the species's demise, especially black rat Rattus rattus.

Conservation measures underway
A survey of the island took place in July 2013 but failed to locate the species (P. Raust in litt. 2013).

Conservation measures proposed
Conduct further surveys to locate any remaining populations and, if found, urgently assess action required for its recovery.

Holyoak, D. T.; Thibault, J. -C. 1984. Contribution à l'étude des oiseaux de Polynésie orientale. Memoires du Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle - Serie A: Zoologie 127: 1-209.

Seitre, R.; Seitre, J. 1992. Causes of land-bird extinctions in French Polynesia. Oryx 26: 215-222.

SPREP. 1999. Proceedings of the Polynesian Avifauna Conservation Workshop held in Rarotonga, 26-30 April 1999.

Thibault, J.-C.; Meyer, J.-Y. 2001. Contemporary extinction and population declines of the monarchs (Pomarea spp.) in French Polynesia, South Pacific. Oryx 35: 73-80.

Further web sources of information
Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species

Search for photos and videos, and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Text account compilers
Khwaja, N., Mahood, S., Temple, H., Derhé, M. & Symes, A.

Raust, P., Meyer, J. & Blanvillain, C.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Pomarea mira. Downloaded from on 20/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 20/10/2016.

This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Critically Endangered - Possibly Extinct
Family Monarchidae (Monarchs)
Species name author Murphy & Mathews, 1928
Population size 1-49 mature individuals
Population trend Unknown
Distribution size (breeding/resident) -
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species