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Black-chinned Monarch Monarcha boanensis
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Survey work has judged this species to have an extremely small population which, given the reported continuation of habitat loss on the one island where it occurs, results in its classification as Critically Endangered.

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

16 cm. Strikingly patterned flycatcher. Black above, including sides of head, with a variable small white mark or bar on forecrown and white outer tail feathers. Black chin, rest of underparts white, including cheeks. Similar spp. Slaty Flycatcher Myiagra galeata has no black on chin and no white in tail. Voice Clear tjuuu-tjuuu, immediately followed by a soft, buzzing trill that fades out after c.6 seconds.

Distribution and population
Monarcha boanensis is confined to the island of Boano off north-west Seram, South Maluku, Indonesia, where it appears to occupy a very limited area (probably no more than 20%) of the mountainous part (c.70 km2) of the island (BirdLife International 2001). Known from just one specimen collected at an unspecified locality in 1918, it was rediscovered in 1991, in a foothill gorge of Gunung Tahun. Observations at the same locality in 1994 led to an estimate of 5-10 birds in a 5-ha patch of forest. Based on the extent of suitable habitat this was extrapolated to give a population estimate of 100-200 individuals (Moeliker and Heij 1995). The first record since 1994 came in 2011, when at least 12 individuals were seen and around 20 more were heard in an area of cut-over forest where none had been seen on the 1994 expedition (Eaton 2011).

Population justification
The population is estimated to number 100-200 individuals, roughly equating to 70-130 mature individuals.

Trend justification
Forest loss has reportedly decimated the ecology of Boano island. Continuing encroachment is likely to be driving a moderate and on-going decline in this species.

It is presumably a sedentary resident, and is believed to be restricted to the higher parts of the island (c.150-700 m), although recent observations come from dense secondary semi-evergreen forest, comprising trees up to 20 m high, in a gorge between 150 m and 200 m. Foraging was noted low (generally below 2 m) in lush undergrowth consisting mainly of Ficus and Coffea spp. and thickets of bamboo (Dendrocalamus spp.). Individuals also associated with mixed-species flocks in the lower-middle storeys.

Forests on the island of Boano have long been exploited for human needs. Although recent cutting is deemed to have irreversibly affected the island's ecosystem, patches of valley-bottom forest remain wherein the monarch persists. However, its extremely low estimated population size, and the apparent ease with which forest at the single known site could be cleared or burnt, renders it highly vulnerable to extinction.

Conservation Actions Underway
No targeted measures have been taken, other than the survey to relocate the species in the early 1990s. Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct extensive surveys on Boano (and the neighbouring islands of Kelang and Manipa which may prove to support the species) to establish its range, distribution and status, and assess its habitat requirements and threats. Assess the suitability of Gunung Tahun (the site of rediscovery) as a protected area. Devise and implement a conservation strategy for the species involving the establishment of an appropriate protected area if necessary.

Related state of the world's birds case studies

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

Eaton, J. 2011. Black-chinned Monarch Monarcha boanensis still survives on its tiny island home. BirdingASIA 15: 36.

Moeliker, C. W.; Heij, C. J. 1995. The rediscovery of Monarcha boanensis (Aves: Monarchidae) from Boano Island, Indonesia. DEINSEA: Jaarbericht van het Natuurmuseum Rotterdam: 123-143.

Moeliker, C. W.; Heij, C. J. 1996. Black-chinned Monarchs Monarcha boanensis on Boano Island. Oriental Bird Club Bulletin 24: 49-52.

Moeliker, C.W. and Heij, C.J. 1995. The rediscovery of Monarcha boanensis (Aves: Monarchidae) from Boano Island, Indonesia. Deinsea 2: 123-143.

Further web sources of information
Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE) species/site profile. This species has been identified as an AZE trigger due to its IUCN Red List status and limited range.

Click here for more information about the Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE)

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., Mahood, S., Symes, A., Taylor, J. & Tobias, J.

Eaton, J. & Moeliker, C.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Monarcha boanensis. Downloaded from on 26/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 26/10/2016.

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 - Black-chinned monarch (Monarcha boanensis) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Critically Endangered
Family Monarchidae (Monarchs)
Species name author van Bemmel, 1939
Population size 70-130 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 14 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species