Country/Territory Indonesia
Area 8,300 km2
Altitude 0 - 2000m
Priority urgent
Habitat loss limited
Knowledge incomplete

General characteristics

Buru is a mountainous island in Maluku province of Indonesia. It has a rugged topography, and the land is folded into many ridges and deep valleys so that there are several ranges of mountains which rise to heights of over 1,000 m, the tallest being the Kelapatmada range, in the north-west of the island, which has a highest point of 2,429 m.

The island's natural vegetation is largely tropical lowland evergreen and semi-evergreen rain forest, with tropical montane rain forest occurring above an altitude of about 800 m; the exception to this pattern is a distinct zone of monsoon forest in the north and north-east section of the island, where a patchwork of monsoon forest, gallery forest and savannas has developed as a result of repeated burning (Whitmore 1984, White and Bruce 1986, Poulsen in press).

Restricted-range species

Ten bird species are endemic to Buru, including the monotypic genus Madanga. Until recently ornithologists had rarely visited this EBA, and fewer still had worked the montane regions of the island, but surveys in 1995-1996 by a PHPA/BirdLife International team (sponsored by the British Ornithologists' Union) have added considerably to knowledge of the habitat requirements, altitudinal limits and population densities of the restricted-range species (Poulsen in press). These species have been divided on the basis of habitat as follows: five species which are primarily found in the lowlands, and nine species (including five of the Buru endemics) which are mainly confined to hill and montane forests above about 500 m, plus two species which are too poorly known to classify (see 'Habitat associations' table).

A survey in 1989 recorded six of the Buru endemics, of which Prioniturus mada, Monarcha loricatus, Rhipidura superflua and Zosterops buruensis were moderately common, but Lichmera deningeri and Coracina fortis were uncommon or rare; the other four endemics were not conclusively recorded, mainly because of the limited amount of fieldwork carried out in montane habitats (Jepson 1993). The PHPA/BirdLife International surveys in 1995 and 1996 collected detailed data on the population densities of these species, and recorded two of the other endemic species in the proposed Gunung Kelapatmada Game Reserve in western Buru, both in montane forest and the first records since the 1920s Rhinomyias addita (found to be moderately common) and Madanga ruficollis (two birds noted); large parrots heard calling at night in montane forest were almost certainly Tanygnathus gramineus (M. K. Poulsen in litt. 1995, 1996). The remaining one of the Buru endemics, Charmosyna toxopei, was not definitely seen during any of the recent surveys, but interviews with local people suggest that it is probably a lower montane forest species which in some years occurs down in the coastal lowlands (M. K. Poulsen in litt. 1996).

Wakolo Myzomela Myzomela wakoloensis, a bird which is confined to Buru and Seram (EBA 170), was treated as a full species by Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993), but it is here considered to be a form of the more widespread Crimson Myzomela M. dibapha following Andrew (1992). Another species confined to Buru and Seram, Forsten's Megapode Megapodius forstenii, was treated by Jones et al. (1995b) as a full species, but is considered here to be a form of the more widespread Orange-footed Scrubfowl M. reinwardt following Andrew (1992) and Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993).

Species IUCN Category
Moluccan Scrubfowl (Eulipoa wallacei) VU
Blue-tailed Imperial-pigeon (Ducula concinna) LC
(Ducula perspicillata) NR
(Gymnophaps mada) NR
(Tyto sororcula) NR
(Ninox squamipila) NR
Rufous-necked Sparrowhawk (Accipiter erythrauchen) NT
Blue-fronted Lorikeet (Charmosyna toxopei) CR
Red Lory (Eos bornea) LC
Buru Racquet-tail (Prioniturus mada) LC
Black-lored Parrot (Tanygnathus gramineus) VU
Buru Honeyeater (Lichmera deningeri) LC
(Philemon moluccensis) NR
(Oriolus bouroensis) NR
Drab Whistler (Pachycephala griseonota) LC
Buru Cuckooshrike (Coracina fortis) NT
Pale Cicadabird (Edolisoma ceramense) LC
Tawny-backed Fantail (Rhipidura superflua) LC
Moluccan Flycatcher (Myiagra galeata) LC
Black-tipped Monarch (Symposiachrus loricatus) LC
White-naped Monarch (Carterornis pileatus) LC
Chestnut-backed Grasshopper-warbler (Locustella castanea) LC
Buru White-eye (Zosterops buruensis) LC
(Geokichla dumasi) NR
Streaky-breasted Jungle-flycatcher (Eumyias additus) NT
Cinnamon-chested Flycatcher (Ficedula buruensis) LC
(Dicaeum erythrothorax) NR
Madanga (Madanga ruficollis) EN

Important Bird Areas (IBAs)
IBA Code Site Name Country
ID205 Gunung Kepala Madang Indonesia
ID206 Danau Rana Indonesia
ID207 Teluk Kayeli Indonesia

Threat and conservation

Most of the coastal lowlands on Buru have now been cleared, and much of the forest surveyed during 1989 in the northern part of the island had been either selectively logged or disturbed by traditional slash-and-burn agriculture (Jepson 1993) so only a few small patches of primary lowland forest remain (Poulsen in press). The montane forests are still largely undisturbed (FAO 1982d, Poulsen in press).

Six of the restricted-range species of the EBA are classified as threatened: five because they appear to be rare or to have particularly small ranges, and are therefore likely to be vulnerable to habitat loss, and Megapodius wallacei because it nests colonially on beaches at a limited number of traditional breeding grounds, and is therefore vulnerable to egg harvesting and disturbance. Two particularly poorly known species are placed in the (non-threatened) Data Deficient category.

There are currently no gazetted protected areas on Buru. The proposed Gunung Kelapatmada Game Reserve in the west of the island includes the Kelapatmada mountains; it extends down to sea-level and up to the highest point on the island (FAO 1982d, Sujatnika and Jepson 1995). The area would contain large areas of both lowland (all now selectively logged) and montane forest which are known to support populations of all except two of Buru's restricted-range species (M. K. Poulsen in litt. 1996).

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Endemic Bird Areas factsheet: Buru. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 15/08/2020.