Country/Territory Indonesia
Area 19,000 km2
Altitude 0 - 3000m
Priority critical
Habitat loss limited
Knowledge incomplete

General characteristics

Seram and several smaller associated islands in Maluku province (Indonesia) constitute this EBA. The interior of Seram is mountainous, with several ranges rising to over 1,000 m and the highest point at Mt Binaiya, part of the central Merkele ridge, reaches 3,027 m (Edwards 1993b). The smaller islands of the EBA are also hilly, but only Ambon rises to an altitude of over 1,000 m. The natural vegetation of Seram is tropical lowland evergreen and semi-evergreen rain forest, with tropical montane rain forest above c.800 m. There are also some areas of forest on limestone and mangroves (Whitmore 1984, Collins et al. 1991, Edwards et al. 1993).

Restricted-range species

The fourteen species which are endemic to this EBA include the monotypic genus Tephrozosterops. Survey work during 1987 and 1996 added considerably to knowledge of the habitat requirements and altitudinal limits of most of the restricted-range species, although a few of them remain poorly known, notably Zoothera dumasi (Bowler and Taylor 1989, 1993, J. Ekstrom in litt. 1997). On habitat they can be subdivided into nine species which are mainly restricted to the lowlands below c.800 m, six which are found in montane forest above c.800 m, 12 which occur in both lowland and montane forest, and a group of three which are mainly recorded from between about 400 and 1,200 m, where they are presumably associated with the ecotone between lowland and lower montane rain forest.

Eight of the restricted-range species are endemic to Seram alone. Monarcha boanensis is only known from Boano, where 5-10 birds were seen in 1994 and the total population was estimated at up to 100-200 individuals, confined to the mountainous interior of the island (Moeliker and Heij 1995). Zosterops kuehni is only definitely known from forest, scrub and gardens on Ambon, although there is also a doubtful record from Seram (Collar and Andrew 1988) and white-eyes with similar calls and song to this species have recently been recorded on Haruku (M. K. Poulsen in litt. 1996).

Wakolo Myzomela Myzomela wakoloensis, which is confined to Buru (EBA 169) and Seram, was considered to be a full species by Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993), but is here treated as a form of the more widespread Crimson Myzomela M. dibapha following Andrew (1992). Jones et al. (1995b) considered Forsten's Megapode Megapodius forstenii, which is also confined to Buru and Seram, to be a full species, but it is here treated as a form of the more widespread Orange-footed Scrubfowl M. reinwardt following Andrew (1992) and Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993). Western Crowned-pigeon Goura cristata (see EBA 172) occurs on Seram, where it is assumed to have been introduced (Macdonald 1995).

Species IUCN Category
Moluccan Scrubfowl (Eulipoa wallacei) VU
Blue-tailed Imperial-pigeon (Ducula concinna) LC
(Ducula perspicillata) NR
(Gymnophaps mada) NR
(Ninox squamipila) NR
Rufous-necked Sparrowhawk (Accipiter erythrauchen) NT
Lazuli Kingfisher (Todiramphus lazuli) NT
Salmon-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua moluccensis) VU
Purple-naped Lory (Lorius domicella) EN
Red Lory (Eos bornea) LC
Blue-eared Lory (Eos semilarvata) NT
Olive Honeyeater (Lichmera argentauris) LC
Seram Honeyeater (Lichmera monticola) LC
Seram Friarbird (Philemon subcorniculatus) LC
Drab Myzomela (Myzomela blasii) LC
Seram Oriole (Oriolus forsteni) LC
Drab Whistler (Pachycephala griseonota) LC
Moluccan Cuckooshrike (Coracina atriceps) LC
Pale Cicadabird (Edolisoma ceramense) LC
Streaky-breasted Fantail (Rhipidura dedemi) LC
Moluccan Flycatcher (Myiagra galeata) LC
Black-chinned Monarch (Symposiachrus boanensis) CR
Chestnut-backed Grasshopper-warbler (Locustella castanea) LC
Grey-hooded White-eye (Heleia pinaiae) LC
Bicoloured White-eye (Tephrozosterops stalkeri) LC
Ambon White-eye (Zosterops kuehni) NT
Long-crested Myna (Basilornis corythaix) LC
(Geokichla dumasi) NR
Cinnamon-chested Flycatcher (Ficedula buruensis) LC
Ashy Flowerpecker (Dicaeum vulneratum) LC

Important Bird Areas (IBAs)
IBA Code Site Name Country
ID208 Pulau Buano Indonesia
ID209 Gunung Sahuwai Indonesia
ID210 Pegunungan Paunusa Indonesia
ID211 Manusela Indonesia
ID212 Waebula Indonesia
ID213 Gunung Salahutu Indonesia
ID214 Haruku Indonesia

Threat and conservation

Seram is still well forested, although the low-lying areas where the human population is concentrated along the coast and in the west have been cleared. At present the potential threats to the EBA are timber extraction, oil drilling, the wild bird trade and the generation of hydroelectricity (see Edwards 1993b). Ambon is densely populated, but Zosterops kuehni is able to adapt to man-modified habitats there (M. K. Poulsen in litt. 1996). On Boano, trees are cut for timber, but this activity does not seem to focus on the patches of secondary forest where Monarcha boanensis still survives (Moeliker and Heij 1995).

Five of the restricted-range species are classified as threatened: 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; Lorius domicella because it is uncommon and is trapped for the local bird trade; Cacatua moluccensis principally because of evidence that it has declined in numbers as a result of trapping for the bird trade; Todirhamphus lazuli because it appears to be local in the lowlands and may be vulnerable to the removal of dead forest trees suitable for nesting and perching; and Monarcha boanensis because of its small, fragmented range and small population. The poorly known Zoothera dumasi is treated as Data Deficient.

The key protected area for the conservation of this EBA is Manusela National Park in central Seram. This includes about 10% of the EBA's land area, and contains all of Seram's forest ecosystems from sea-level to the peak of Mt Binaiya (Edwards 1993b), and almost all of the restricted-range bird species occur there. Additional proposed protected areas on Seram include Wae Bula and Gunung Sahuai (FAO 1982d), but Wae Bula has now lost most of its value for conservation; the forests on the highest ridges of eastern Seram are important for several species, including Lorius domicella and Cacatus moluccensis (J. Ekstrom in litt. 1997). There are no reserves on the islands of Boano and Ambon, so the single-island endemic species there are not protected: Zosterops kuehni is able to adapt to man-modified habitats, so no special protection may be required, but Monarcha boanensis is a forest bird and a new protected area is probably needed on Boano for its conservation.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2021) Endemic Bird Areas factsheet: Seram. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 06/12/2021.