Wetar, Birding on Wetar

Wetar, Birding on Wetar



Trichoglossus euteles, Olive-headed Lorikeet,  Perkici Timor


Not an easy place to get to, but anyone who tries will be rewarded with a selection of endemics that very few people have ever seen.

Key bird species:

Wetar Ground-dove , Slaty Cuckoo-dove, Pink-headed Imperial-pigeon, Timor Imperial-pigeon, Rainbow [Marigold] Lorikeet, Olive-headed Lorikeet, Iris Lorikeet, Olive-shouldered Parrot, Moluccan [Wetar] Scops Owl, Large-tailed [Timor] Nightjar, Black-necklaced Honeyeater, White-tufted Honeyeater, Crimson-hooded Myzomela, Wetar Figbird, Plain Gerygone, Fawn-breasted Whistler, Olive-brown [Wetar] Oriole, Timor Stubtail, Timor Leaf-warbler, Orange-banded Thrush, Timor Blue-flycatcher, Red-chested Flowerpecker, Flame-breasted Sunbird

Birdwatching locations:

Wetar has only been visited by birdwatchers a handful of times in the last few years, so it is still early days in its ornithological exploration. The sites suggested here are definitely just that; suggestions: you should consider trying anywhere that looks interesting. It is also worth keeping an eye out for seabirds as you move between locations, as the seas here can be productive for Greater and Lesser Frigatebird, Red-footed Booby, Streaked Shearwater, Matsudaira’s Storm-petrel and occasional skuas.

Lurang, Meron & Lake Tihu

Starting from the large north coast village of Lurang, a new road has been created crossing the island to the south coast village of Ilwaki. While undoubtedly this road will lead to damage to the forest interior, at the moment it currently passes through relatively undisturbed forest for large sections, and allows relatively easy access to the Lake Tihu area, around 25km south of Lurang and a similar distance north from Iiwaki. This is currently the most accessible interior forest on the island and allows a chance at birds including Wetar Ground-dove , Slaty Cuckoo-dove, Pink-headed Imperial-pigeon, Timor Imperial-pigeon (present to sea level on Wetar, but more common at higher elevations), Rainbow [Marigold] Lorikeet, Olive-headed Lorikeet, Iris Lorikeet, Olive-shouldered Parrot, Wetar (Moluccan) Scops-owl, Black-chested Honeyeater, Crimson-hooded Myzomela, Wetar Figbird, Plain Gerygone, Fawn-breasted Whistler, Olive-brown [Wetar] Oriole, Timor Stubtail, Timor Leaf-warbler, Orange-banded Thrush, Timor Blue-flycatcher, Red-chested Flowerpecker, Flame-breasted Sunbird.

Napar Village

This village on the NW coast backs onto some reasonable areas of degraded forest that can be quite productive for birds, with species including many of the same birds as the Lurang-Lake Tihu area, as well as Tricoloured Parrotfinch.

Inland from Naumatang & Esulik Villages

Situated on the north coast, these small villages back onto a large area of forested hills, including the the Bekau Huhun Nature Reserve. Deep river gorges head in from the coast and stretch deep into undisturbed forest. Following the start of these valleys for a few kilometres is easy, but may well involve wading through water occasionally, as there is not always an obvious trail. Exploring further will probably involved a small expedition of several days, but the reward is some of the most pristine habitat on Wetar. Birds seen or possible in this area include as similar range as Lurang-Lake Tihu, but especially including the pigeons such as Timor Black Pigeon, Pink-headed and Timor Imperial Pigeons, Bar-necked Cuckoo Dove and Wetar Ground Dove.

Sakir River

Another river gorge, stretching inland from the north-east coast village of Sakir. A trail follows the river and passes through some great condition riverine forest. Birds seen here are also similar to those present in the Lurang-Lake Tihu area.

Masapun Village

The south-east coast village of Masapun backs onto a range of forested hills, with deep gorges cutting into them from the coast. This area would be well worth exploration, and likely to hold many of the same birds as other sites nearby.

Access and Accommodation:

Getting to Wetar is not straightforward. There are no scheduled flights to the island, so your only option is by boat. Administratively the island lies within Maluku Province (not Nusa Tengarra, as you would imagine) so you might well find yourself travelling from Ambon.

At time of writing the options for getting to Wetar include ‘regular’ but infrequent boats from Ambon (often via Tanimbar; ), Kupang (Timor), or Kalabahi (Alor). Some of these stop at Lurang on the north coast, but more frequently (in relative terms!) they stop at Ilwaki on the south coast. Finding info on schedules for smaller boats can be tricky outside of the respective ports, but for larger Pelni boats (Ilwaki and Kisar, might be only “KM Tatamailau”) at least try the website www.pelni.co.id.

There is also an option to fly to the small island of Kisar (to the South-east of Wetar) on a once weekly Merpati flight from either Ambon or Kupang. From there you will need to pick up a rare scheduled boat (as above), or try and arrange an expensive charter for the 100km crossing. Alternatively you may be able to hitch a ride on a mining company charter?

Once on Wetar things are not necessarily going to get easier. The human population on the island is very low (among the lowest in Indonesia), so finding a team of people to help mount an mini-expedition to the interior could be tough! To get a feel for things first probably best to base yourself in either Lurang or Ilwaki and venture further from there using small charter boats to get along the coast, or whatever transport you can find to explore the cross island track. You also won’t find many hotels, so be prepared to report to the village head when you arrive in each destination and ask for assistance in finding board and lodgings (and expect to pay, even if you are not directly asked). The village heads may also be able to assist you finding local guides (if you are both polite and patient!).

Wetar is remote, with few facilities, so prepare well and pack accordingly will anything you might need. The more flexible you are with time the more relaxing time you will have!

More info:

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Site map:

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Babar Island Nature Reserve

Babar Island Nature Reserve

Longitude (DD) 129.72044569
Latitude (DD) -7.91224062
Designation Other Area

dai , moluccas, tribe, suku

Status Proposed
Current Status Not Known
IUCN Category Not Known
GIS Total Area (ha) 62.388

The Babar Islands (Pulau-pulau Babar) are located in Maluku Province, Indonesia between latitudes 7 degrees 31 minutes South to 8 degrees 13 minutes South and from longitudes 129 degrees 30 minutes East to 130 degrees 05 minutes East. Kepulauan Babar refers to the entire archipelago. Tepa is the main town of the Babar Islands.

The islands take their name from the large central island of Babar which is roughly 20 miles across and 60 miles around. Babar island has a maximum elevation of approximately 750 meters and is lightly covered with sub-tropical montaine forest.

The West Monsoon lasts from December to April so corn, plantains, bananas, cassava and red rice (unirrigated) grow plentifully. Sufficient potable water on Babar Island is provided by year round springs.

This situation contrasts markedly with the much smaller islands ringing Babar Island. These are low-lying, uplifted reef and limestone (with the exception of Dai Island), infertile, not heavily forested and lacking in fresh water sources. Life is more difficult on the outlying Babar islands where the indigenous inhabitants focus more of their energies on fishing and hand-crafts which are then traded for garden produce from Babar Island.

In comparison to the majority of Indonesians living nearer the political centre of the country, the indigenous Babar Islanders tend to darker epidermal pigmentation, have kinky hair and generally lack the epicanthic eyefold of East Asians.

Besides being a visible minority, most indigenous Babar Islanders are also baptised into the Protestant Church of Maluku (Gereja Protestan Maluku- GPM). Due undoubtedly to the aridity of the islands and the lack of natural resources, there has been no trans-migration from more populous Indonesian areas. In Tepa, there are a Catholic church, a Seventh-day Adventist church, and a Pentecostal church, the Gereja Betany Indonesia (GBI)(Bethany Church of Indonesia), as well as a mosque that serves the small community of Muslims. The village of Kroing on the Eastern side of Babar island also has a GBI. All the other towns have only one GPM church. While these world faiths are represented, there is much hybridization with the pre-existing animist beliefs and practices.

Laut Banda – Gunung Api Banda Marine Park

Laut Banda – Gunung Api Banda Marine Park

Laut Banda, Gunung Api, Laut Banda,  Gunung Api Banda Marine Park, Cagar Alam,
An area of 2,500 ha. of the Banda archipelago has been set aside as marine recreation park. Furthermore, Gunung Api Banda, one of the islands of the archipelago, forms a seperate (marine) recreation park of 735 ha.
The Banda archipelago consists of nine volcanic islands with quiet beaches surrounded by the most beautiful coral reefs in Maluku. The area is very important for many seabird, turtle and fish species.
Gunung Api Banda (676 m) is an active volcano which last erupted in 1988. The volcano, which can be climbed in 2-3 hrs., forms the main attraction of the park.
The Banda archipelago can be reached by boat or plane from Ambon. All public tranport ends on Pulau Bandanaira. To get to the other islands of the archipelago you have to charter a boat from Bandanaira.
* Bandanaira
o Many possibilities
* Pulau Syahrir
o Homestay Mailena
* Pulau Karaka
o Some simple Homestays
KSDA, Jl.Kebun Cengkeh, Batu Merah Atas, Ambon
KSDA Maluku, Jl.Pandan Kasturi, Tantui, Ambon
Birdlife International, Jl.Ppandan Kasturi SK 43/3, Tantui, Ambon
The Banda archipelago offers excellent diving and snorkeling. Equipment and boats can be hired in Bandanaira.
* Collared Kingfisher – Todirhamphus chloris
* Wallace’s Fruit-Dove – Ptilinopus wallacii
* Rose-crowned Fruit-Dove – Ptilinopus regina
* Elegant Imperial-Pigeon – Ducula concinna
* Little Curlew – Numenius minutus
* Whimbrel – Numenius phaeopus
* Common Sandpiper – Tringa hypoleucos
* Grey-tailed Tattler – Tringa brevipes
* Sooty Tern – Sterna fuscata
* Spotted Kestrel – Falco moluccensis
* Red-footed Booby – Sula sula
* Brown Booby – Sula leucogaster
* Pied Heron – Ardea picata
* Australian Pelican – Pelecanus conspicillatus
* Great Frigatebird – Fregata minor
* Lesser Frigatebird – Fregata ariel
* Wedge-tailed Shearwater – Puffinus pacificus
* Island Whistler – Pachycephala phaionotus
* Kai Cicadabird – Coracina dispar
* Rufous Fantail – Rhipidura rufifrons
* Lemon-bellied White-eye – Zosterops chloris
* Green Turtle – Chelonia mydas
* Hawksbill Turtle – Eretmochelys imbricata

* Surgeonfish – Acanthuridae
* Trumpetfish – Aulostomidae
* Triggerfish – Balistidae
* Fusilier – Caesionidae
* Jacks – Carangidae
* Butterflyfish – Chaetodontidae
* Garden Eel – Congridae
* Batfish – Ephippidae
* Sweetlips – Haemulidae
* Wrasse – Labridae
* Snapper – Lutjanidae
* Moray Eel – Muraenidae
* Angelfish – Pomacanthidae
* Ray – Rajidae
* Parrotfish – Scaridae
* Scorpionfish – Scorpaenidae
* Tuna – Scombridae
* Grouper – Serranidae
* Barracuda – Sphyraenidae
* Reef Whitetip Shark – Triaenodon obesus

Damar Island Nature Reserves

Damar Island Nature Reserves

Damar Island, Damar Island  Other Area, Cagar Alam,
Shaped like a dinosaurs head, with a steaming fumarole emitting discrete clouds of sulphur through a hypothetical nostril, the island of Damar has lain in wait for birders for over 100 years. That is, until recent work in August 2001 by BirdLife International to rediscover the Damar Flycatcher Ficedula henrici.

Damar, like many islands in eastern Indonesia is remote more than 100 km to the nearest similarly sized islands of Romang and Babar. It is one of a string of volcanic islands starting with Java in the west and ending with the Banda Islands, south of Ambon. Damar is only about 198 km2, however it has a distinctive avifauna with its single endemic, the Damar Flycatcher Ficedula henrici and two endemic sub-species, Rufous-sided Gerygone Gerygone dorsalis kuehnii and Golden Whistler Pachycephala pectoralis dammeriana. Fifteen restricted-range species have also been recorded, including the near threatened Blue-streaked Lory Eos reticulata (perhaps introduced from the Tanimbar Islands), Green-cheeked Bronze Cuckoo Chrysococcyx rufomerus (a South-west island endemic), Orange-sided Thrush Zoothera peronii (a Timor-group endemic) and Cinnamon-collared Kingfisher Todiramphus australasia (widespread in the Lesser Sundas). Prior to their rediscovery in 2001, the Damar Flycatcher was first and last recorded in 1898 and the Green-cheeked Bronze Cuckoo (endemic to Damar, Romang, Kisar, Leti, Moa and Babar) in 1902. Damar is perhaps also the easiest place to see the other restricted-range species listed above. Combine this with extensive and scenic forest, coastal landscapes, and two spectacularly intact small islands to the south teeming with turtles, extensive fringing reef and Beach Thick-knees, Damar offers much for guests during a 7-10 day visit.

Damar is, however, desperately undeveloped and has no electricity, no telephones, cars, motorbikes, hotels or losmen though hot running water is available from volcanic springs! Its isolation has maintained a particularly strong culture with tight social control managed by village heads. A total of 5000 people lives in seven villages, most of whom rely on the cash sale of coconuts and cloves together with subsistence crops (banana, cassava, chilli, tomato and papaya) and fishing for their livelihoods. Local transportation involves walking (23 h) or chartering motor boats (Johnsons) to other villages (30-90 min), which are all along the coast. Damar is best visited between July and October when the seas are calmer (especially September) and likelihood of rain lower. There are two separate local languages with the villages of Wulur through to Kumur having different local names for birds compared to the two westernmost villages of Batumerah and Kwai. Manu is the word for bird in the Wulur language.

Access and accommodation
Getting to Damar is difficult. Damar is accessible by public transport from Ambon and Saumlaki (Tanimbar Islands) and with greater difficulty from Kupang via Kisar Island (contact author for details). The most comfortable option would be to charter a yacht from Bali at about $US1500 per person/week. Access is perhaps easiest from Ambon, however this needs to be weighed against the ongoing civil unrest in this area (1998present). About every 20 days a kapal perintis ship, either the Iliana or Mentari 2 (but not both) departs Ambon on a route including Damar as the first port of call after about 26 h of travel (400 km). The ship is owned by PT Pelayanan Mentari Sejati Perkasa Ambon. Tickets cost only c. $US 2, however it is much more comfortable to arrange a cabin and bed ($US 10-15/night per bed). From Saumlaki, Tanimbar, the same ships are available at the other end of their route (ticket $US 34, bed as above), but travel to Damar takes 56 days via the islands of Babar, Sermata, Moa, Leti, Kisar, Wetar and Romang. Depending on your perspective, this is either wasted time or an opportunity to see some seabirds and get a look at some very remote and poorly known islands many without bird records for more than 100 years! From Kupang, West Timor, the ship Iramuar travels past the coast of Timor stopping a couple of times on Wetar, then on to Kisar (after c.48 h), where it will be necessary to disembark and wait for a boat continuing on to Damar. The Iramuar continues on to the Tanimbar Islands.

Wulur area
The village of Wulur is the largest on the island (c.1000 people) and all major ships stop in the Solat Bay between Wulur and Kehli making it the best base for birding on Damar. Stay with the kepala desa or village head Sigrandus Romode (until the year 2006) who can assist with arranging guides and other logistical aspects. Giving $US 23 per person/night for the accommodation and food will make any village stay more friendly and comfortable. Although there is much secondary forest and interesting mangroves and sago swamp at the mouth of the bay, it is best to head straight to the primary semi-evergreen forest about 2 km southwest of the village (a one hour walk) (ask to go to Yan Lutruwowans garden). This can be done as a day walk, or it is easy to arrange to camp in the garden, which is adjacent to primary forest.

After leaving Wulur, the White-tufted Honeyeater Lichmera squamata (known locally as Sunusopa) is the most abundant species, using all habitat including the canopy of mangroves, coconut trees and in shrubs. The Rufous-sided Gerygone Gerygone dorsalis (Lapitis) is also very common and particularly confiding when foraging in grass or low shrubs. Other common birds in the coastal woodland and mangroves near Air Panas include Pacific Reef Egret Egretta sacra (Sulit), Brahminy Kite Haliastur indus (Manu apruru the name given for all raptors), Variable Goshawk Accipiter novaehollandiae, Spotted Kestrel Falco molluccensis, Blue-tailed Imperial Pigeon Ducula concinna (Walur/pombo), Pink-headed Imperial Pigeon D. rosacea (also Walur), Emerald Dove Chalcophaps indica (Imuan/pau pau) Collared Kingfisher Todiramphus chloris (Aratilu), Black-faced Cuckooshrike Coracina novaehollandiae, White-bellied Whistler Pachycephala leucogastra, Northern Fantail Rhipidura rufiventris (Loi loi papa), Rufous Fantail Rhipidura rufifrons (Loi loi) and Ashy-bellied White-eye Zosterops citrinellus (Manu malar). As you begin the gradual climb from Air Panas Spectacled Monarch Monarcha trivirgatus will likely be seen in secondary woodland along streams. In banana and vegetable gardens Green-cheeked Bronze Cuckoo will be calling constantly but getting good views will be more difficult.

Within Yans garden the surrounding forest is a cacophony of sounds dominated by the abundant, small-island specialist Blue-tailed Imperial Pigeons urrauw call, uttered continuously through the day. The density of this pigeon reaches 2070 individuals/ha, and it can be observed feeding on Nutmeg fruits, the dominant forest tree, from July to September along with another abundant frugivore, the Black-backed Fruit Dove Ptilinopus cinctus. However, Pink-headed Imperial Pigeon and Rose-crowned Fruit Dove (Towo towo) are less confiding. The Green-cheeked Bronze Cuckoo is easily seen here as it frequently perches on stumps and logs where it gleans caterpillars and other insects from chilli bushes and the ground. Two other restricted-range species the Cinnamon-collared Kingfisher and Orange-sided Thrush are also relatively easy to see at the forest edge. The song of the thrush can be heard through most of the day, whereas the kingfisher calls either early morning or late afternoon (often duetting with its raucous ch-whee call).

The Damar Flycatcher has been observed repeatedly along the forest edge in an area targeted for further conversion to garden plots (usually an area 50 m by 70 m is cleared). Spending time at forest edge scanning the rattan understorey and potential perches below 3 m is a good place to begin a search for this species. Damar Flycatcher is widespread here, and learning its sibilant whistle will greatly assist detection. Male birds are far easier to observe, females often present with males but skulking within dense rattan. There are no well-marked forest trails so it is necessary to follow hunter-guides who know the forest. Olive-headed Lorikeet Trichoglossus euteles (Nuri hijau) will be heard frequently flying rapidly over the canopy, the less common Blue-streaked Lory (Asturi, Nuri biru or Nur Mer-mer) occasionally so. While the canopy is full of forest pigeons, the understorey and subcanopy often seem empty of birds other than the ubiquitous Spectacled Monarch. However Golden Whistlers, White-bellied Whistlers, particularly the females, are often seen skulking low in bushes or even hopping along the forest floor. Orange-sided Thrush can be observed daily, but getting a view of Elegant Pitta Pitta elegans amongst the dense understorey will prove more difficult. Similarly, the Metallic Pigeon Columba vitiensis was recorded here several times but is not confiding.

Damar Flycatcher, male
(Colin Trainor)
Kumur area (Kwai Protection Forest)
The easiest place to observe Damar Flycatcher during the 2001 survey was the lush semi-evergreen forest south of Kumur, but actually owned by Kwai village. Kumur is an interesting 3 h (7 km) walk from Wulur, but taking a motor boat (1 h) costing c. $US 2 if public transport or c. $US 10 if a charter, is recommended. Kumur sits on the western side of the Ayerkota River (the largest on the island) with the village of Bebar Barat 100 m away on the opposite bank. The forest is accessed by walking from the village for about 3 km (1 h), much of this along the scenic Ayerkota valley. Habitat along the valley includes some secondary forest, relatively extensive dense canegrass along the river, and coconut and clove plantations. It appears to have potential for rails, warblers and waterbirds, although apart from Pacific Reef Egret none were observed during recent work. Good views can be obtained of forest on steep slopes along the length of the valley with Brahminy Kites and flocks of frigatebirds Fregata spp soaring above. Blue-tailed Imperial Pigeons glide down from the ridges and Olive-headed Lorikeet is very common in flowering coconuts. Birds are under lower hunting pressure here than Wulur (where there are many air rifles) with the Orange-footed Scrubfowl Megapodius reinwardt (Hibla manu) calling frequently from mangroves close to Kumur village.

Another garden lodge is a useful base for walks to the adjacent forest where Orange-sided Thrush, Emerald Dove, Rufous-sided Gerygone, Dollarbird Eurystomus orientalis (Manu metan) and Green-cheeked Bronze Cuckoo are frequently observed. After entering forest Damar Flycatcher is often seen while walking along the well-marked forest trails, usually perched on lianas or saplings 12 m above ground, where they sit silently scanning the ground below and any bare surfaces for insects. When a prey item is observed they wing-flap in apparent excitement, then fly to ground and forage amongst litter, or glean insects from shrubs or tree trunks. Their weak whistled call can be widely heard throughout the forest. The Blue-streaked Lory (Kasturi) may be observed feeding on the flowers of the Salawaku tree or Jambu air (Syzygium sp), but more usually flying at speed over the canopy. Cinnamon-collared Kingfisher and Elegant Pitta may occasionally be seen. Barn Owl Tyto alba (Uru) screech at night from the garden camp where they hunt the abundant rats, Rattus argentiventer. After finishing with forest observations, more working of the modified habitats along the Ayerkota River valley is a likely area to add new species for the island.

Forest at Batumerah is best accessed by travelling in dugout canoes 3 km along the coast from the village to the mouth of the Awehnyo River, then following the river inland for about 1 km until primary forest is reached. Man-modified coastal habitats here include mangroves, beach forest, coconut plantation and riparian forest. The Barred-necked Cuckoo Dove Macropygia magna was recently recorded for the first time on Damar from degraded forest near the river mouth, however this habitat contains few other birds of special interest except for White-bellied Whistler, which is common, while Osprey Pandion haliaetus fish along the coast. Working from a base hut in a garden plot is a good way to explore the tall semi-evergreen forest along the river. In 2001 a male and female Damar Flycatcher were observed for several hours as they moved through the camp garden foraging for insects. They regularly perched on large logs and the garden fence and flew down to the ground to feed amongst litter, on bare rocks and in chilli bushes. They typically spent 12 h in the gardens each morning working an area of 0.2 ha, and then moved back into the surrounding forest. Glossy Swiftlet Collocalia esculenta is a common aerial species in forest gaps and over gardens. The Rainbow Bee-eater Merops ornatus was newly recorded for Damar from this habitat.

Specialities in the Batumerah forest include Cinnamon-collared Kingfisher (likely to be observed perched above the river), Orange-sided Thrush, Elegant Pitta, Metallic Pigeon (they drink from the river in early morning), Black-banded Fruit Dove, Orange-footed Scrubfowl and perhaps Barred-necked Cuckoo Dove. Only a single individual of the latter was recorded in 2001, but it is likely to have been under-recorded. There are no marked forest trails but walking along the rocky river channel, or with a local hunter who knows the area is a good way to explore. Unfortunately, there is active forest conversion to agricultural plots, with several being created further upstream during the survey.

Terbang Utara and Terbang Selatan
Two islets (56 km2 each) located about 10 km and 15 km south of Damar are of avifaunal interest they were birded for the first time in Sep 2001. Access is available through chartering a small motorboat from Wulur (c. $US 70100 for 23 days). It would be possible to visit both islands in one day. Both are covered in intact tropical dry forest (1025 m high) and coastal shrub, with extensive beaches, rocky shoreline and coral reefs. A total of 34 species was recorded on these islands, five unrecorded from the Damar mainland; migrating Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres and Pacific Golden Plover Pluvialis fulva, Beach Thick-knee Esacus neglectus, Little Pied Cormorant Phalacrocorax melanoleucos and an unconfirmed species of cuckoo (probably Pied Bronze Cuckoo Chrysococcyx crassirostris).

Green Turtle Chelonia mydas nest on the beaches at night and the nocturnal calls of the Turtle Bird (Urur Penu) or Beach Thick-knee are a sign for local people that turtles are nesting. Beach Thick-knee is common on both islands (perhaps 1030 individuals on each). It can be observed throughout the day foraging on beaches and exposed rock platforms, feeding on barnacles and molluscs. There is a roosting colony of Greater Frigatebird Fregata minor and Lesser Frigatebird F. ariel on Terbang Selatan said to sometimes number in the 1000s (about 100 individuals in 2001). In addition, the abundance of several species is much greater here than on Damar. The Orange-footed Scrubfowl is exceptionally abundant (35 pairs observed per hour), as are Pink-headed Imperial Pigeon, Black-banded Fruit Dove and Rose-crowned Fruit Dove, whereas White-tufted Honeyeater was surprisingly rare.

Damar Island lies in a global biological hotspot, the Banda Sea Islands Endemic Bird Area (EBA 165: Stattersfield et al. 1998). This EBA harbours 18 endemic and 41 restricted-range bird species. Damar, supporting more restricted-range birds than Sumba (an island more than 50 times larger) is of high conservation interest with its single endemic Damar Flycatcher, near threatened Blue-streaked Lory and other globally restricted forest birds such as Orange-sided Thrush and Cinnamon-collared Kingfisher, demanding the greatest attention (see Table 1). With 70-80% (140-160 km2) of the island still covered in semi-evergreen and dry tropical forest there appears little threat to these species in the near future. However, small-scale logging carried out by local people, and increasing forest clearance for crops to feed a slowly rising human population will continue to place low-level pressure on the forest. As on the Sangihe and Talaud Islands (after Wardill and Riley 1999) showing that birds and forest are important in their right by visiting the island and paying local guides is one way that the Damarese can see tangible benefits of their forest stewardship. Understandably they find it difficult to believe why anyone would travel thousands of kilometres to see birds on their island.

Three restricted-range species went unrecorded during the survey; Kai Cicadabird Coracina dispar, Black-bibbed Monarch Monarcha mundus and Tricolored Parrotfinch Erythrura tricolor. Any new information to assist our understanding of the status of these and other interesting species such as the newly reported Barred-necked Cuckoo Dove and Shining Starling Aplonis metallica would be useful. Research priorities for the Damar Flycatcher include a census to assess its population size and distribution, although it is now considered common and widespread in forest and under little threat of extinction.


Gunung Api Kisar Island Nature Reserve

Gunung Api Kisar Island Nature Reserve


Latitude : 6 49 48 S Logitude : 126 30 0 E
Altitude : 0 to 280 metres
Area : 80 ha Wetlands: 0 ha
Legislation : GB No. 24 Stbl No. 157, 12-3-1937.
Tenure : Government of Indonesia, PHPA

Site Description
A small island formed by the summit of an active volcano rising directly from the ocean bottom, 4,000m deep. This andesitic volcano is uninhabited, although sometimes visited by fishermen. In the centre a 80m deep crater is found, the lowest edge is on the W-side, 200m above sea level. The island is inhabited by many seabirds (breeding). Except for very steep slopes and then barren places, the island is entirely covered by vegetation which is however, poor in species. The island is most interesting as it is considered ” a very important tropical seabird colony, the protection of which is of great ornithological importance” (hoogerwerf 1939). In 1938 there was strong fumerole activity along the lower west side of the crater, and only the other sides facing the sea were densely covered with Pisonia, Ficus and Pandamus trees. In 1981 this activity had nearly ceased and the fast-growing Pisonea had covered half of the bare survace. Most seabirds breed on this side, which is in the lee of the strongly blowing Southeast Monsoon.

Site Location
Cagar Alam Gunung Api Kisar is located on Kabupaten Maluku Tenggara, Souht Banda sea.

List of Birds (14 species)
Species Red Data Book Cites
Anous stolidus
Coracina novaehollandiae
Egretta sacra
Falco peregrinus App I
Fregata minor
Halcyon sancta
Hypotaenidia philippensis
Phaethon rubricauda
Sterna anaethetus
Sterna fuscata
Sula dactylatra
Sula leucogaster
Sula sula
Zosterops palpebrosus
List of Vegetations (10 species)
Species Red Data Book Cites
Caesalpinia crista
Cyperus sp.
Ficus sp.
Ipomoea pescaprae
Pandanus tectorius
Paspalum scrobiculatum
Pisonia sylvestris
Terminalia catappa
Trema orientalis
Trema virgata