group, situated 465 km north of the main Fijian
islands, is the only location for the Rotuman
Myzomela (VU). This common bird of all forest, bush
and garden habitats probably needs no specific
conservation actions but improved quarantine against
colonisation by invasive alien species would benefit
all Rotuma’s biodiversity as well as traditional
s Site description
associated small satellite islets. The Rotuman
Myzomela is a permanent resident on the main island
and probably Uea but may be only a visitor to the
smaller islets. The main island is a shield volcano
divided into two parts by a sandy isthmus, with
coastal terraces, a central plateau (30–60 m) and steep
volcanic cones. It has a wet tropical climate with
Maps are given for each IBA and indicate the IBA
boundaries. IBAs defined by designated protected
areas have the same definitive boundaries as the
protected areas. IBAs without an official designation
have indicative boundaries based on forest cover.
Green indicates ‘dense’ and ‘medium dense’ natural
forest as mapped by the National Forest Directory
(1990–93). (Forest cover was not mapped for Rotuma,
Kadavu, Ogea or Vatu-i-Ra.) Locally significant
rivers, dams, villages and mountains are marked.
about 3,350 mm of rain annually, and lowland
rainforest as climax vegetation. Most of the land has
been cultivated at some time in the past, and the forest
is mostly a mosaic of forest in various stages of
succession. The myzomela also visits the limited areas
M o t u s a
of mangrove, but most of the coast is rocky, with
some sandy-mud bays, and a barrier reef. Rotuma is
inhabited by an island people, closely related to both
Polynesians and Fijians, who speak their own
language. About 2,500 Rotumans live on the island
and the population has been stable for many years
with migration draining off the net population
increase. The island’s physical isolation has led to a
powerful and relatively traditional local government.
The land is Native Tenure administered through a
A1 (globally threatened species)
[Bristle-thighed Curlew (VU) – non-breeding
visitor in unknown but probably very small
across the island
A2 (restricted-range species)
Five species (compared to 35 on the main Fiji
group). See Appendix 2.
The total world populations of the Rotuman
Myzomela and the Rotuman subspecies of Polynesian
Starling A. t. rotumae and Lesser Shrikebill C. v.
isolated out-lying populations of Crimson-crowned
Fruit-dove and Polynesian Triller. The offshore islets
of Ha’atana, Hofliua and Hatawa have nationally
significant seabird colonies.
s Other biodiversity
Rotuman Forest Gecko, and two other lizards endemic
to Fiji, the Green Tree Skink and Barred Tree Skink.
on the main island, including forest edge and
plantations and has no known threats. It is
categorised as Vulnerable because its very small
geographical range makes it potentially susceptible
to chance catastrophes such as cyclones, disease or
invasive alien species. Colonisation by exotic
predators (other than Pacific Rat, which is already
present) is a possible threat, but the myzomela’s
abundance and wide habitat tolerance should protect
it from cyclone damage. It could be used as a
figurehead species to promote tighter quarantine
controls to prevent colonisation by invasive alien
species for the benefit of all other native species and
traditional agriculture. The nesting seabirds have been
traditionally harvested for food and the sustainability
of this practice needs investigation.
G. D. (1989) The vertebrates of Rotuma and surrounding
waters. Atoll Research Bulletin 316: 1–25.
Important Bird Areas in Fiji – Site accounts
Numenius tahitiensis. (
90–941 m (Delainacau 300–744 m;
Drawa 300–700 m; Valili 457–904 m; Waisali 350–650 m; Delaikoro 90–941 m)
Unprotected except for Waisali Forest Amenity Reserve (120 ha). Most is a Site of National Significance.
A1 (globally threatened birds); A2 (restricted-range birds)
Important Bird Areas in Fiji – Site accounts
Tavea Peak, Wailevu. (
M t D e l a i k o r o
Levu subspecies of Long-legged Warbler (EN), and
has all the other endemic birds on Vanua Levu except
for the Silktail, which is restricted to another
peninsula. It consists of the largest remaining
important forests in Vanua Levu, and includes six
Sites of National Significance as outlined in the
BSAP: Delaikoro, Waisali, Tavea, Valili, Drawa and
lowland and montane forest along the southern spine
of Vanua Levu island. The northern slopes have some
dry forest but the central hills and southern slopes
are mainly tropical lowland rainforest with an average
rainfall of 3,500–4,800 mm/annum. Delaikoro has
rugged terrain with lowland rainforest reaching up
to montane cloud forest and the highest peak in
Vanua Levu at 941 m. Logging roads run from the
lowlands (e.g. Sueni and Nadavaci villages) up into
the fringes of the ridge, and it has been proposed that
some roads could be upgraded into a public road
across the hills to Savusavu. Much of Valili (about
) is still unlogged, especially around the ridges
extending east to west towards Delaikoro. Delainacau
(about 11 km
) is largely logged but the steep slopes
ha) is the site of a large sustainable forestry project
lead by GTZ. A central ridge-top area of protection
forest covers 32% of Drawa, 24% is either preserved
forest (for conservation) or non-forest, and 44% is
multiple-use forest where timber production is
allowed. The Waisali forest (120 ha) was established
as a nature reserve in 1991 and is administered as such
by the National Trust of Fiji. Most of this reserve is
tropical lowland rainforest ranging from 350 m to
650 m altitude. Although many of the gentle slopes
have been logged, it contains some of the best
remaining stands of Dakua trees in Fiji. The IBA
contains parts of 172 Native Lands (totalling about
64,137 ha), about 22 Freehold Lands (about 3,631
ha) and 9 Crown Scheduled Lands (678 ha).
A1 (globally threatened species)
Friendly Ground-dove (VU) – fairly common in
[Long-legged Warbler (VU) – the only record of
the Vanua Levu subspecies T. r. clunei was from
here in 1974; probably still occurs]
A2 (restricted-range species)
22 species (out of 24 on Vanua Levu), including
two of the three endemic to Vanua Levu and
Taveuni. See Appendix 2.
This IBA supports eight of the nine subspecies
endemic to Vanua Levu.
Limited surveys have been undertaken in Waisali and
Drawa only. Waisali is the only known site for the
Fijian Ground Frog (EN) on mainland Fiji (Viti Levu
and Vanua Levu) despite the presence of mongoose.
Waisali also supports the Fijian Tree Frog (NT) and
at least four species of reptile including the Turquoise
Tree Skink which is known only from one other
specimen. The BSAP technical botanical report
identified six Vanua Levu sites of high botanical
biodiversity, four of which are part of this IBA
(Waisali, Mt Dikeva, Mt Delainacau and Mt Kasi).
Botanical surveys at Drawa showed that 51% of flora
species are native, 47% are endemic to Fiji and 10
species are threatened within Fiji.
This IBA is threatened primarily by logging. Whilst
environmentally friendly logging may not have major
effects on birds, much of the logging on Vanua Levu
is unsustainable and causes extensive forest
destruction as well as the subsequent problems of
increased numbers of invasive alien species (e.g.
mongoose), and agricultural expansion. Other minor
threats include fire and hunting. Waisali is managed
by the National Trust of Fiji as an ecotourism site
which offers pools, forest, especially Dakua trees, and
birdwatching. Visitor facilities developed in 2005
included constructing tracks between the pools, with
a bure and visitors’ information. The GTZ sustainable
forest management project at Drawa forest aims to
balance the conservation of forest and endemic plants
with income for local stakeholders from forestry and
agriculture. The Delaikoro, Delainacau and Valili
areas currently lack any conservation effort.
Conservation work needs to be initiated at the
mataqali level of the villages in these areas. An
opportunity is afforded by the road up to the
Delaikoro radio mast which offers easy birdwatching
on the way up to the island’s highest peak with
beautiful views to Labasa to the north and Savusavu
to the south.
Fiji Programme IBA project field
reports Nos 26, 31, 34, 35 and 36.
of a Rural Forest Area in Fiji. Suva: Pacific German
Regional Forestry Project. Unpublished report.
Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan. Suva: Department
of Environment. Unpublished report:
Reserve, Vanua Levu for herpetofauna conservation in Fiji.
South Pacific Regional Herbarium.
tracts on the Natewa/Tunuloa peninsula. This
peninsula has a unique assemblage of birds including
the threatened Vanua Levu subspecies of Silktail
(NT). It also supports large numbers of the other
species endemic to Vanua Levu/Taveuni and Friendly
growth forest on Natewa/Tunuloa, a large peninsula
on the south of Vanua Levu. The IBA is mostly
lowland tropical rainforest extending along the
central ridge of the peninsula, including many steep
slopes with stunted or montane forest. It contains the
largest remaining stands of unlogged forest but also
includes adjacent areas of logged forest making one
large contiguous forest. The IBA is bounded by more
highly degraded forest, mostly forest which has been
logged heavily in recent years, mahogany plantations
and agriculture. The land tenure includes parts of 68
Native Lands (totalling about 20,506 ha), two
Freehold Lands (about 320 ha) and two Crown
Scheduled Lands (about 246 ha).
Tunuloa subspecies L. v. kleinschmidti
A2 Restricted-range species
21 species (out of 21 on Natewa peninsula and 24
on Vanua Levu), including all three endemic to
Vanua Levu and Taveuni. See Appendix 2.
This IBA supports seven of the nine subspecies endemic
to Vanua Levu. The peninsula is also ornithologically
unique in having no Giant Forest Honeyeaters or Blue-
crested Broadbills which are otherwise widespread
across Vanua Levu and Taveuni.
biodiversity groups except for birds in the IBA.
Tunuloa; Tunuloa Silktail Reserve; Natovotovo forest
Not protected. Site of National Significance.
N a v e t a u
Vu s a s i v o
N a t e w a
extensive logging which continues around the IBA.
Logging is often unsustainable, leading to increased
numbers of invasive alien species as well as degraded
forest. Logging is more of a threat to the gentler
southern slopes. Extensive areas of native forest have
also been cleared for mahogany plantations but
hopefully this practice has now been discontinued.
Forest birds can be found in tracts of native forest
along watercourses and on steeper slopes within
logged forest and mahogany plantations, but their
survival is dependent on maintenance of these native
trees. Agriculture is also encroaching into the forest
as there are very limited areas of flat land on the
peninsula not converted into coconut plantations.
The IBA is the source of all rivers and drinking water
for villages along the peninsula. The impacts of
unsustainable logging on drinking water quality,
marine resources in Natewa Bay and other
environmental problems have lead a number of the
seek assistance for forest conservation. The impacts
of invasive alien species on the birds are unknown
but, as with all sites on Vanua Levu, mongoose are
likely to be significant predators of birds, their eggs
and chicks. The Savusavu area is becoming popular
with tourists and the improved road to Natewa/
Tunuloa is opening tourism opportunities for the
reports Nos 24 and 41.
Chrysoenas victor. (
population of Friendly Ground-Doves (VU), the
majority of the world’s Silktails (NT), the largest
number of Tahiti Petrels (NT) in Fiji and many other
endemic birds. The three reserves have been combined
into a single IBA which forms a contiguous forest
block. This is the largest currently protected area in
Fiji and includes a spectacular expanse of primary
forest from shore to summit.
the Ravilevu Nature Reserve, Taveuni Forest Reserve
and Bouma National Heritage Park together with
adjacent old-growth forest in the mountains and hills
to the north-west. The land tenure is a mixture of
Native Lands and Freehold Lands. This IBA covers
approximately 65% of Taveuni, Fiji’s third biggest
island (442 km
). Taveuni is an old shield volcano
last erupted in 1658. The southern slopes rise steeply
out of the sea and are characterised by high rainfall
(up to 7 m/year), land-slips and regenerating forest.
The mountains are even wetter (up to 10 m/year), but
FJ04 TAVEUNI HIGHLANDS
Ravilevu Nature Reserve; Taveuni Forest Reserve; Bouma National Heritage Park
16º53’S, 180ºE (Taveuni)
Ravilevu Nature Reserve (40 km
) and Taveuni Forest Reserve (113 km
) were gazetted as protected areas in
1958 and are managed by the Department of Forestry. Bouma National Heritage Park is a community-managed
protected area (under agreement with the Native Lands Trust Board (NLTB) but not legally protected).
D e v o u x P e a k
F J 0 4
the north side is in a slight rain-shadow. Most of the
IBA is lowland and montane forest but large areas
of the steep unstable slopes have broken-canopy
forest. Additional habitats include the coast and some
small wetlands, notably Lake Tagimaucia which has
few birds but is nationally important as a large
freshwater lake and marsh. Taveuni is exceptional in
having a high proportion of remaining forest
including an intact ridge-to-reef ecosystem, extremely
rare in the Pacific. Taveuni is also extremely
important as the largest mongoose-free island in Fiji.
Although it has most of the other invasive alien
species found across Fiji, these are probably having
lesser impacts because Taveuni retains a large
A1 Globally threatened species