The Polynesian Ornithological Society, also known as SOP Manu (meaning “bird” in the Tahitian language), is working for the protection of wild birds of French Polynesia and the preservation of their habitat. The association was founded in 1990 and is the local representative of BirdLife International, a global partnership of conservation organisations.
A large flycatcher endemic to Fatu Hiva Island in Marquesas Archipelago, and previously common all around the island, the Fatu Hiva monarch’s population has been in decline since the arrival of ship rats on the island in the 1980’s. Only 41 birds were found in 2009 during intensive surveys.
The Polynesian Ornithological Society has led a conservation program since 2008 which aims to save the critically endangered Fatu Hiva monarch from extinction through predator control. Actions include the protection of nesting sites from predators, neutering of female cats, monitoring of the population, as well as raising the local community’s awareness and sustainable development with landowners. The Auckland Zoo Conservation Fund has supported this project since 2014.