Endangered Birds

The Tahiti Monarch

The Tahiti Petrel (Pterodroma rostrata) 10F CFP and the Tahiti “Monarch” (Pomarea nigra) 80F CFP

Issued in Tahiti: 85,000 with 700 First Day Covers
Issued in France: 15,000 with 400 First Day Covers

The 80 F CFP value is equivalent to €0,67.
Image Source: https://www.tahitiphilatelie.pf/

On 29 January 2019, the French Polynesia Post Office issued two bird stamps in a set entitled “Endangered Species”.  One of the birds featured in this stamp set was the Tahiti Monarch (Pomarea nigra).  This article is about that bird and the related stamp.   

This is the first and only issue of a stamp featuring this bird. 

Having already written a rather sombre article about endangered birds in New Caledonia, it was a pleasure to be able to pen a positive story about an endangered species from French Polynesia (Tahiti).  Here, “Manu” the Ornithological Society of Polynesia (https://www.manu.pf/), has a story of steady progress to report in protecting the future of the Tahiti Monarch, a Critically Endangered (CR) species which is endemic to Tahiti (French Polynesia).  In the Tahitian language the Monarch is known as ’Ōmama’o.   

The Tahiti Monarch is a relatively small bird, at 15cm and the adult bird (over four years) is completely metallic black in colour.  The beak is grey and the legs and feet are bluish-grey.  As a juvenile (one to two years old), the Monarch is orange-brown.  As the young bird gets older, the plumage starts to turn darker brown and then black, this transformation starting first on the back and on the wings, gradually spreading to the rest of the body.

Leave a Reply