This discussion was first published as part of the 2013 Red List update, but remains open for comment to enable reassessment in 2014.
Ogea Monarch Mayrornis versicolor is restricted to Ogea in the southern Lau Group, Fiji, occurring on the two principal islands, Ogea Levu and Ogea Driki (13 and 5 km2 respectively, 2 km apart), and on the smaller island of Dakuiyanuya (immediately adjacent to Ogea Levu). It is currently listed as Vulnerable under criteria D2 because it has a tiny range of 16km2, at risk from chance catastrophes, such as cyclones and the establishment of exotic predators.
However, recent information has highlighted that this species has always been confined to the same island group and the threats it faces have not changed significantly over time (Andersen et al. 2012). Surveys conducted on Ogea Levu and Ogea Driki in July 2011 (following Watling’s  methodology) recorded 49 individuals, equating to 19.22 per 10 ha (Andersen et al. 2012), compared with 10.68 per 10 ha in 1986 (Watling 1988). Crude extrapolation from these data yields a current estimate of 3,204 individuals compared with 1,780 in 1986 (Watling 1988). Although this is based on surveys conducted over three days, and so it is difficult to draw firm conclusions about population size and whether the apparent change in the population size represents a genuine increase or simple variation in the population, there are no grounds for suspecting a population decline (Andersen et al. 2012). Thus, the population of this species is likely to have been stable or increasing since 1986, despite the occurrence of introduced predators including feral cats (Felis silvestris) and rats (Rattus spp.). Given the remoteness of this group of islands, subsequent invasions by new mammalian predators are unlikely (Andersen et al. 2012). Also, this species has always persisted with the threats of cyclones and other severe weather events. If this information is confirmed, and there are not thought to be any plausible threats which could drive the species to become Critically Endangered or Extinct in a short time period, it would no longer qualify as Vulnerable under the D criteria and could warrant downlisting to Near Threatened (if there were plausible events that could cause the species to decline, but these were unlikely to make the species Extinct or Critically Endangered in a short time), or Least Concern. Nevertheless, if there is sufficient evidence to suggest that threats are increasing in frequency owing to climate change, it should remain as Vulnerable under criteria D2 of the IUCN Red List.
Information is requested on the severity of threats, population size and trends of this species. Additional comments on the proposed downlisting are also welcome.
Andersen, M. J., Bird, J. P., Naikatini, A and Tuamoto, T. (2012) Birds of the Southern Lau Group. Unpublished report.
Watling, D. (1988) Notes on the status and ecology of the Ogea Flycatcher Mayrornis versicolor. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists’ Club 108: 103-112.
- Archived 2012-2013 topics: Vanikoro Monarch (Mayrornis schistaceus): uplist to Vulnerable or Endangered?
- Archived 2011-2012 topics: Rarotonga Monarch (Pomarea dimidiata): downlist to Vulnerable?
- Archived 2010-2011 topics: Collared Petrel (Pterodroma brevipes): uplist to Vulnerable?
- Black-throated Shrikebill (Clytorhynchus nigrogularis): downlist to Near Threatened?
- Archived 2011-2012 topics: Chuuk Monarch (Metabolus rugensis): request for information