Author: Thibault, Jean-Claude; Meyer, Jean-Yves
Title: Contemporary extinctions and population declines of the monarchs (Pomarea spp.) in French Polynesia, South Pacific
Keywords: Extinction; monarch; Polynesia; Pomarea; threats
Abstract: Four species of monarchs (Pomarea spp.) presently inhabit French Polynesia, one on Tahiti and three on the Marquesas Islands. Although all species populations were abundant during the nineteenth century or at the beginning of the twentieth century, their range and population numbers have recently decreased dramatically: intensive field surveys conducted between 1998 and 2000 reveal that four subspecies are now extinct from five islands in the Marquesas in the last decades. Introduction of the black rat is the major cause of extinction and decline, now amplified by new threats such as aggressive introduced birds and invasive alien plants reducing suitable habitats for breeding.