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Flores Monarch Monarcha sacerdotum
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This striking forest bird qualifies as Endangered because its very small range is severely fragmented and its habitat and population are continuing to decline as a consequence of rampant habitat loss and degradation.

Taxonomic source(s)
Sibley, C. G.; Monroe, B. L. 1990. Distribution and taxonomy of birds of the world. Yale University Press, New Haven, USA.

15.5 cm. Strikingly patterned flycatcher. Greyish-black upperparts, darkest on wings and tail, with white outer-tail feathers. Black mask, forehead and throat, rest of underparts white. Similar spp. Spectacled Monarch M. trivirgatus is very similar but has rufous on face and throat, and some black on base of outer-tail feathers. Voice Upwardly inflected whistle and buzzing notes. Also a quiet, warbling chatter interspersed with 3-4 upwardly inflected whistles.

Distribution and population
Monarcha sacerdotum is endemic to the western half of Flores, Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia, where it appears to be extremely local and largely uncommon, with very tentative density estimates of 2.3 (± 0.8) birds per hectare in suitable habitat, made during fieldwork in 1993 (BirdLife International 2001). However, recent surveys estimated the total population at three forest blocks (Mbeliling, Sano-Nggoang and Nggorang-Bowosie) to be 1,855-6,659 birds, at a density of 8.52-23.98 birds/km2 (Ora 2002). Within the last decade there are records from Puarlolo Telkom ('frequent'), Paku ('uncommon'), Cereng ('frequent'), Golo Bilas ('rare') and Bari (C. Trainor in litt. 2007). This last site is a northward range extension and increases the area of suitable forest habitat within its range by c.200 km2. Remaining areas of forest within its range appear to be under considerable pressure and the species is thought to be in decline as a result.

Population justification
The population is estimated to number 2,500-9,999 mature individuals based on an assessment of known records, descriptions of abundance and range size. This is consistent with recorded population density estimates for congeners or close relatives with a similar body size, and the fact that only a proportion of the estimated Extent of Occurrence is likely to be occupied. This estimate is equivalent to 3,750-14,999 individuals, rounded here to 3,500-15,000 individuals.

Trend justification
This species is suspected to be in rapid decline owing to the rapid past and continuing clearance of forest habitats, particularly in the lowlands.

It inhabits primary semi-evergreen rainforest from 350 m to 1,000 m, and also occurs in moist deciduous monsoon forest. It has been recorded in old secondary and partially degraded forest, indicating some tolerance of degradation, although the vast majority of records derive from primary forest, implying that it may not adapt well to modified habitats. There appears to be some mutual exclusion between this species and the closely related M. trivirgatus, presumably as a result of ecological overlap.

Forest loss and fragmentation (chiefly as a result of shifting cultivation, dry season burn-off and road-building) is already extensive on Flores, and has presumably resulted in a substantial decline in numbers and contraction of range. No semi-evergreen forest below 1,000 m is included within gazetted protected areas and the large tract of lowland moist deciduous forest at Golo Bilas through to Bari-Rego (also important for the threatened Wallace's Hanging Parrot Loriculus flosculus and Flores Crow Corvus florensis) is currently being cleared for firewood and construction materials. As a species of foothill and montane elevations, it is potentially threatened by the effect of projected climate change on the extent and distribution of suitable habitats.

Conservation Actions Underway
Two recent surveys have targeted this species and other threatened birds on Flores. One key site, Tanjung Kerita Mese, is proposed for establishment as a protected area. Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct further surveys to clarify its status and habitat use, with a view to formulating an appropriate conservation strategy and proposing effective protected areas. Support the rapid gazetting of Tanjung Kerita Mese proposed protected area, along with an additional stretch of forest at Golo Bilas. Initiate awareness campaigns to solicit the support of local people in protecting forests.

BirdLife International. 2001. Threatened birds of Asia: the BirdLife International Red Data Book. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K.

Butchart, S. H. M.; Brooks, T. M.; Davies, C. W. N.; Dharmaputra, G.; Dutson, G. C. L.; Lowen, J. C.; Sahu, A. 1996. The conservation status of forest birds on Flores and Sumbawa, Indonesia. Bird Conservation International 6: 335-370.

Ora, Y. 2002. Population and Habitat of the Flores Monarch (Monarcha sacedotum Mees, 1973) in West Flores, Indonesia. Department of Forest Resources Conservation, Faculty of Forestry, Bogor Agricultural University.

Further web sources of information
Detailed species accounts from the Threatened birds of Asia: the BirdLife International Red Data Book (BirdLife International 2001).

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
Benstead, P., Bird, J., Davidson, P., Taylor, J., Tobias, J., Allinson, T

Butchart, S., Pilgrim, J., Trainor, C., Ora, Y.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Monarcha sacerdotum. Downloaded from on 21/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 21/10/2016.

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.

Additional resources for this species

ARKive species - Flores monarch (Monarcha sacerdotum) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Endangered
Family Monarchidae (Monarchs)
Species name author Mees, 1973
Population size 2500-9999 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 700 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species