Initial deadline for comments: 31 January 2012 [note that this has been moved back by about two months].
Chuuk Monarch Metabolus rugensis is widely distributed on the high lagoon islands and outer reef islets of Chuuk (=Truk) Lagoon in the Federated States of Micronesia, where it is most abundant in native upland forest, but occurs in a variety of other habitats (Engbring et al. 1990, G. Dutson in litt. 2003). It is listed as Endangered under criterion C2a(ii) because it has a very small population, estimated to fall into the band 1,000-2,499 mature individuals based on data from the 1990s, which is suspected to be in rapid decline owing to the loss of habitat within its extremely small range. Habitat loss is driven by a rapidly growing human population (Engbring et al. 1990). Although it has an Extent of Occurrence (EOO) estimated at c.80 km2, the species does not qualify as Critically Endangered under criterion B1 because it occurs at more than 10 locations and its habitat is not considered severely fragmented (i.e. over 50% in fragments too small to support viable populations).
As this species is suspected to be rapidly declining there is a significant risk that the population data from the 1990s are now out-of-date and that the population size needs to be re-estimated. Observations in 2001 added support to the suspicion of declines since surveys in the early 1980s (G. Dutson in litt. 2003). Visits to Weno suggest that the species has become extirpated, or perhaps extremely rare, on that island since 2005 (C. Collins in litt. 2011). There are also second-hand reports that the species has been targeted with slingshots on Weno (C. Collins in litt. 2011).
Further information on this species is requested, in particular recent data and observations on the rate of habitat loss, severity of any other threats, and current population size of M. rugensis.
Engbring, J., Ramsey, F. L. and Wildman, V. J. (1990) Micronesian forest bird surveys, the Federated States: Pohnpei, Kosrae, Chuuk, and Yap. Honolulu: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.