Elegant sunbird

Elegant sunbird perched on branch. Source: Arkive.org

Elegant sunbird perched on branch. Source: Arkive.org

The elegant sunbird (scientific name: Aethopyga duyvenbodei) is native to the Indonesian island of where it occurs at its highest densities on Mount Sahendaruman. It is classified as endangered on the IUCN Red List.

When the island of Sangihe was colonised in the 17th century, its forests were cleared for their natural resources of fruit, spices and fibres. When the forests were replaced with plantations of bananas, coconuts, rubber and tea, the population of elegant sunbird started declining. Today, only tiny patches of the primary forest remain in Sangihe. However, agricultural practices continue to threaten these areas, by removing the dense understory and scrub which the elegant sunbird requires for survival.

To promote the conservation of the elegant sunbird and other threatened species in the remaining patches of forest, Action Sampiri (UK-based conservation group),has been conducting fieldwork, running education and awareness programmes, and developing ideas for future land-use that may be mutually beneficial to the local people and wildlife. Although conservation measures are limited, the primary forest fragment at Mount Sahendaruman is protected.