A survey of the avifauna of obi island, north moluccas, Indonesia

John C. Mittermeier*, H. Eden W. Cottee-Jones, Endang Christine Purba, Nova Maulidina Ashuri, Eka Hesdianti, Jatna Supriatna

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The avifauna of eastern Wallacea remains little studied despite high diversity and endemism and basic knowledge of the ecology, taxonomy and distribution of species is lacking. Results of a two-month survey on Obi, North Moluccas, Indonesia, in July and August 2012 are presented here. General observations, point counts, mist-netting and interviews with villagers were carried out in five areas. A total of 109 species including 89 resident landbirds were recorded, of which 14 were new records for the island. Surveys up to 1,550 m extended the known altitudinal range of several species and resulted in the discovery of three montane species not previously recorded on Obi: Red-breasted Pygmy Parrot Micropsitta bruijnii, Mountain White-eye Zosterops montanus and Mountain Tailorbird Orthotomus (Phyllergates) cucullatus. Other notable records were five species of rail, including a surprising range extension of Drummer Rail Habroptila wallacii and observations of the poorly known Moluccan Woodcock Scolopax rochussenii. The biogeographical and conservation implications of findings and elevational turnover in bird communities on Obi are discussed. In line with recent surveys in other parts of Wallacea, this survey highlights the need for continued ornithological fieldwork in eastern Indonesia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)128-137
Number of pages10
Issue number29
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2013
Externally publishedYes


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