Flores Monarch – Symposiachrus sacerdotum

Endemic species “Level 4****” (“mega star“) – published on the 30th of April 2020
Ecolodge_indonesia_logo_smallPage fully published with ECOLODGES INDONESIA
See Monarchidae family (monarchs)
In French: Monarque de Florès en français

Symposiachrus_sacerdotum_main_mbeliling_ecolodge_flores_indonesie_endemiqueThis little Monarch is one of the most localised in the world. The endangered bird only lives in a small part of the far west of the island of Flores (one of the Lesser Sundas) in Indonesia as by human activities who decimates its forest habitat, and its population is collapsing. The remaining forests must be finally adequately protected. Otherwise, this species, like the Flores Crow and other endemics, could quickly disappear.

It lives in primary little exploited forests between 350 and 1000 meters above sea level and mainly favors those between 700 and 900 meters.

The little monarch consumes invertebrates, but no specific study is available to clarify the details of his diet. Its breeding habit also remains unknown.

Ecotourism, hope for the future of rare endemics like the Flores Monarch

The Indonesian authorities have already shown that protecting the country’s extraordinary biodiversity is not their priority. There are a few parks and reserves, but the majority of the nearly 700 national endemics (the world record) do not exist in a protected area. Some of these birds are even legally captured and hunted.

Thus, it will undoubtedly be necessary to rely on NGOs and private projects to save some species. The financial means required for conservation come mainly from tourism. The more visitors there are to observe and photograph these exclusive animals, the more there will be a commitment (even for simple, economic interest) and means to protect them.

However, tourism must not destroy more than it protects. There are endless ways to travel, and some are unfortunately damaging natural spaces and producing pollution.

Ecotourism has a double meaning, sometimes misunderstood. It can be nature tourism (unfortunately, nature does not always mean that it is protected) or nature-friendly tourism.

Ecolodge Indonesia, with its Mbeliling Mountain Ecolodge, in particular, plays on both aspects. It targets nature tourism, and many efforts are made to minimize the impact of the activity on the environment. Compared to other establishments in the country, the lodge is far ahead.

The Flores Monarch lives in the forest around the lodge located at the optimal altitude for this species. There is probably no other place in the world where you can observe fairly easily this Monarch at 100 meters from a comfortable chalet.


You will also hear and perhaps see the Flores Crow, the Golden-rumped Flowerpecker, Brown-capped Fantail, the Thick-billed White-eye, all on the same site, without any particular efforts.

We hope that this constructive tourism can develop and improve to ensure the survival of these incredible feathered animals who survive in these still healthy forests of Mount Mbeliling.

Ecolodge_indonesia_logo_smallText by Valéry Shollaert
and Marinella Mejia


This is a monotypic species well distinct from other monarchs. He is sometimes considered to be related to the Spectacled Monarch; their respective ranges overlap, but they appear to be mutually exclusive by habitat and altitude.




[Species #851 of the Holistic Encyclopedia of Birds project]


Click here to see the landscape and our description of Mbeliling Ecologethumbnail_mbeliling_ecolodge_flores_indonesia_fruitdove


List of other species pages: taxonomicalday per day


All photos and text are © Valéry Schollaert 2020
with acknowledgment to the copy editor: Remy Ty

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