Paroreomyza montana


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Paroreomyza montana
Species Authority: (Wilson, 1890)
Common Name(s):
English Maui Alauahio, Maui 'Alauahio, Maui Creeper

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(ii,iii,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-05-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Baker, P.E., Camp, R., Fretz, S., Gorresen, M., Mounce, H., VanderWerf, E. & Woodworth, B.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Benstead, P., Capper, D., Khwaja, N., Stattersfield, A., Stuart, T., Taylor, J., Derhé, M.
This species is classified as Endangered because it has a very small range in which habitat is now being degraded through fire and grazing by feral goats, with the imminent threat of a new pressure posed by feral deer. It remains at risk from habitat degradation, disease and, in some areas, predation by introduced mammals.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Paroreomyza montana is endemic to Maui in the Hawaiian Islands, U.S.A. The nominate subspecies formerly occurred on Lana'i, but it became extinct around 1937. On Maui, it is now found only in two locations in the east, including Waikamoi Preserve to Kipahulu Valley (abundant), and Polipoli State Park and nearby areas south-west of Haleakala peak (Baker and Baker 2000) (no longer common, but exact status unsure [H. Mounce in litt. 2007]). Population densities decline below 1,600 m elevation: in 1980, surveys recorded none below 900 m (Scott et al. 1986) and, in 1997, there was an almost total absence below 1,480 m, with only 40 km2 of occupied good quality habitat above 1,525 m (Baker and Baker 2000). In 1980, the early 1990s and 1997, the total population was estimated at c.35,000 birds (Scott et al. 1986, Jacobi and Atkinson 1995, Baker and Baker 2000) (but <8,550 breeding pairs), suggesting overall stability, although the range has contracted in this time (Baker and Baker 2000). In 2002, it was reported that koa forest in South Haleakala was being degraded by feral goats, prompting suspicions of a population decline (S. Fretz, R. Camp, E. Vanderwerf, M. Gorresen and B. Woodworth in litt. 2003), and in 2007, a fire in PoliPoli State Park destroyed an area of the species's habitat and probably a proportion of the population (H. Mounce in litt. 2007). Surveys after the fire found some surviving birds, but the lack of baseline surveys before the fire has prevented an analysis of the impact on the population (H. Mounce in litt. 2007).

United States
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: In 1980, the early 1990s and 1997, the total population was estimated at c.35,000 birds, including fewer than 8,550 breeding pairs, therefore giving a maximum estimate of 17,100 mature individuals. However, following a fire at PoliPoli State Park (H. Mounce in litt. 2007), the population may have declined further. The estimate is here placed in the band 10,000-19,999 mature individuals. This equates to 15,000-29,999 individuals in total, rounded here to 15,000-30,000 individuals.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It inhabits dense, wet forests dominated by `ohi`a trees, but occurs in a variety of other forest, scrub and savanna habitats dominated either by native or introduced plants. It feeds on invertebrates and nectar (Scott et al. 1986, Pratt et al. 1987). It lives in small family groups of 2-6 birds (Baker and Baker 2000).

Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Clearance of lowland forest has inevitably resulted in range contraction, but its absence from suitable habitat at lower elevations is attributed to the presence of disease-carrying mosquitoes. Feral ungulates, especially pigs, have also caused extensive habitat loss and degradation (Scott et al. 1986, Loope and Medeiros 1995, USFWS and Hawai`i DLNR 1999) and mosquitoes have followed the spread of feral pigs into upland areas (Loope and Medeiros 1995). Habitat response models indicate that this species is associated with forest interiors that are less damaged by feral pigs (Scott et al. 1986). A number of introduced mammals, birds and insects are potential predators and competitors. Koa forest in South Haleakala is now being degraded by feral goats, with deer being a further imminent threat (S. Fretz, R. Camp, E. Vanderwerf, M. Gorresen and B. Woodworth in litt. 2003). A fire at PoliPoli State Park in 2007 is thought to have impacted the local population (H. Mounce in litt. 2007).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
The core areas where this species reaches its highest population densities are within three protected areas: Waikamoi Preserve, Hanawi Natural Area Reserve and Haleakala National Park, where fencing and control of feral ungulates is already resulting in the slow regeneration of native `ohi`a forests (Loope and Medeiros 1995, Lepson and Freed 1997, Simon et al. 1997, USFWS and Hawai`i DLNR 1999). Habitat restoration in PoliPoli State Park is proposed to include 65% native tree species and is expected to benefit the species (H. Mounce in litt. 2007).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct further research into the effect of diseases (Baker and Baker 2000). Study its population dynamics and demography (Baker and Baker 2000). Protect habitat from feral ungulates and rodents (Baker and Baker 2000). Extend plant control to areas outside the three wildlife protection areas (Loope and Medeiros 1995). Encourage the regeneration of native high-elevation forests (Baker and Baker 2000). When possible, translocate the species to establish several widely distributed populations (Baker and Baker 2000), including on the leeward side of east Maui or mountains in west Maui (H. Mounce in litt. 2007). Routinely monitor the East Maui watershed conservation programme (P. Baker in litt. 1999).

Citation: BirdLife International 2012. Paroreomyza montana. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 03 July 2015.
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