Iphis Monarch Pomarea iphis


Justification of Red List Category
This species has an extremely small range at one location and its habitat is considered to be declining due to agriculture, fire, grazing and logging. For these reasons it is listed as Critically Endangered.

Population justification
Several hundred pairs were estimated in 1975 by Holyoak and Thibault (1984), and 500-1,250 pairs were estimated in 1998, at a mean density of 2-5 pairs/ha (Thibault and Meyer 2001). This equates to 1,000-2,500 mature individuals, placed here in the band 1,000-2,499 mature individuals.

Trend justification
The population is estimated to be stable, based on survey data.

Distribution and population

Pomarea iphis is endemic to the Marquesas Islands, French Polynesia. It is restricted to Ua Huka, where several hundred pairs were estimated in 1975 (Holyoak and Thibault 1984), and 500-1,250 in 1998, at a mean density of 2-5 pairs/ha (Thibault and Meyer 2001).


On Ua Huka (c.30% forested), breeding birds were found from 30 m to 650 m (non-breeders to 840 m) in all native low- to mid-elevation moist and wet forest in the south and locally in lowland dry forest (with Pisonia grandis) on the eastern coast (Thibault and Meyer 2001). It forages in dense brush, gleaning insects from branches or hawking them in dark, shaded areas beneath brush-covered canopy (Pratt et al. 1987).


Its habitat may be under threat as grazing (by feral goats and cattle) and fire have led to the loss of dry forest (WWF/IUCN 1994-1995), while sections of habitat have also been cleared for agriculture, as well as to make wood carvings for tourism (Doukas et al. in litt. 2010). Habitat degradation by cyclones is a minor cause for concern. Additionally the Black Rat Rattus rattus, although not yet present on the island, has been the likely cause of several extinctions in the region, while introduced birds (which may transmit diseases), the yellow crazy ant and Singapore ant, plus feral cats are all present on Ua Huka (C. Blanvillain in litt. 2016).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
Intensive trapping campaigns were performed from 2008 to 2011 and indicate that R. rattus is still absent from Ua Huka (Faulquier et al. 2008, Faulquier et al. 2009a,b, Champeau et al. 2010, Champeau et al. 2011).  In 2009, biosecurity measures were implemented on Ua Huka (rat bait-stations were installed on the 3 wharves of the island) in order to prevent the establishment of the Black Rat Rattus rattus and these actions continue to be maintained (Faulquier et al. 2009a,b, Champeau et al. 2010, Champeau et al. 2011).

Conservation Actions Proposed
On Ua Huka, resurvey the population to ascertain any trends. Take precautions to prevent the establishment of R. rattus (including continuing to maintain rat bait-stations). Continue to survey for black rat R. rattus (P. Raust in litt. 1999) and assess any other threats. On Teuaua, attempt to eradicate R. rattus again.


Text account compilers
Temple, H., Mahood, S., Derhé, M., Benstead, P., Wheatley, H.

Raust, P., Faulquier, L.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Pomarea iphis. Downloaded from on 17/08/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 17/08/2022.