The Black-faced Monarch is considered to be a monotypic species by Schodde and Mason (1999). Storr (1973, 1984c) and Blakers and colleagues (1984) describe two subspecies: pallidus, in the Cape York Region south to Cardwell and melanopsis further south. Schodde and Mason’s (1999) appraisal found only a slight increase in wing-length in adjacent populations across their distribution from north to south Australia, but no significant difference between northern and southern breeding populations. It has also been suggested that northern populations have a narrower bill, the side of the head is paler and the black forehead less extensive (Storr 1973), but the study of Schodde and Mason (1999) did not support this.
Black-faced Monarch |
Status: Vulnerable on the EPBC Act list
Government evidence of impact of climate change:
Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, Species Profile and Threats Database, Monarcha melanopsis
In Queensland; they migrate between February and May (Beruldsen 1990 Blakers et al. 1984 Bravery 1970 MacGillivray 1914 Storr 1973; 1984c).Black faced Monarchs are usually seen singly or in pairs; however; during migration they sometimes join flocks of mixed species (Coates 1990a Diamond Bishop 1994 Makin 1961 Marchant 1986).It should also be noted that there is evidence that the Black faced Monarch is altering its migration timing in response to climate change (Beaumont et al. 2006).