Summary report on forests of the mataqali nadicake kilaka, kubulau district, bua, vanua levu



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Status of the Proposed Reserve 

 

The proposed reserve will approximately straddle the 200m altitude line on its western side and 



elsewhere follow the boundaries of the mataqali Nadicake-Kilaka. It is ideally located in the sense that 

it protects a major area of the Kilaka River watershed and contains some of the best remaining forests. 

However, the plateau also includes areas that were heavily disturbed in the past. We saw an old village 

site and evidence of previous attempts of bauxite exploitation. However, vegetation is recovering 

quickly from these past disturbances. Of greater concern is the presence of a large, recently created 

plantation. Reportedly, this plantation was mistakenly created on land of mataqali Nadicake-Kilaka by 

the mataqali Nadicake-Nadi, but soon abandoned. Eventually vegetation should recover from this 

disturbance. 

 

I believe that the proposed reserve should be extended to include most of the remaining patches of 



forest. This would allow protecting forest along a gradient of increasing rainfall from the western to the 

eastern end of the land of the mataqali Nadicake-Kilaka. However, such an extension would require a 



detailed study of current and past land use and of the intentions and aspirations of members of the 

mataqali Nadicake-Kilaka, as large plantations are located east of the proposed reserve. Ideally this 

would result in a well-balanced, dynamic management plan that includes planted, barren (recovering) 

and protected areas, as well as improved farming practices. 

 

Fig. 1: Approximate boundary of the land of the mataqali Nadicake-Nadi (black line), 

approximate locations of 50 × 50 m permanent plots (black circles) and approximate boundary of 

the proposed reserve (red line). 

 

 



 

 

 



Conservation Value 

 

I believe that gazetting the proposed reserve should be considered a high conservation priority. This is 



based on the numerous endemic species in the reserve and the presence of vegetation types that are 

uncommon elsewhere in Fiji. Lowland tropical rainforests that have Retrophyllum vitiense as a 

dominant component are rare, as are still forested plateaus as that covering most of the intended 

reserve. In addition, if the reserve could be extended to include some of the southern parts of the land 

of the mataqali Nadicake-Kilaka, it could include the rain forest, mesic forest and the transition zone 

between these two forest types. 

 

Several unique and very rare species were collected. Zanthophyllum myrianthum [Rutaceae] was 



collected only for the second time ever and now appears to be endemic to S Vanua Levu, a species of 

Terminalia [Combretaceae] that I believe to be new to science and would be the first non-coastal 

species of the genus in Fiji with fleshy fruits, a species of Aglaia  (aff.  tomentosa in the apendix)  

[Meliaceae] that appears to be a new record for Fiji, and Astronidium kasiensis [Melastomataceae] 

which was previously believed to be endemic to Mt. Kasi and surroundings. The find of the latter 

species is of special significance, as there are several other species that have only been collected from 

Mt. Kasi and may therefore also be present in the reserve. These include Caesaria myrsinoides 

[Flacourtiaceae],  Elaeocarpus kasiense [Elaeocarpaceae], Mapania vitiensis [Melastomataceae], 



Metrosideros ochrantha [Myrtaceae], and Phreatia flavovirens [Orchidaceae]. In addition, Guioa 

capillacea [Sapindaceae] has only been collected once in the adjacent Wainunu Catchment and may 

also occur in the reserve. Discovery of some of these species would greatly add to the conservation 

value of the reserve. Especially the discovery of Metrosideros ochrantha, which is feared to have been 

extirpated from Mt. Kasi due to mining activities (M.F. Doyle & M.V. Tuiwawa, personal 

communication), would be an important discovery. In short, the area has the potential to become one of 

the highest priority conservation sites in Fiji. 

 

 

Community Perception 



 

1.

 



The community is very happy with the initiative and efforts of the Wildlife Conservation 

Society. 

2.

 

There is a strong desire by the community to protect their remaining forests from logging 



because: 

-

 



they want to keep their forest for future generations 

-

 



they want to maintain the quality of their drinking water 

-

 



they want to ensure that there are no water shortages in future 

-

 



they want to protect their oceans and reefs, which could be severly impacted by siltation 

-

 



they have seen and heard about many other places that now regret having logged their 

forests because the money was quickly spent 

-

 

they hope to start an ecotourism project sometimes in the future 



3.

 

The community would appreciate more frequent and more detailed feedback on the research 



undertaken on their land 

 

 



Threats 

 

Logging 

The major threat to the forests of Kubulau is logging. This is evident in the fact that only two 



mataqalis, Nadicake-Kilaka and Nadicake-Nadi, have not yet logged their forests, with the latter 

having just approved to log their forest. Most of the coastal forests, which is located on relatively flat 

terrain, have been clear-felled and only tiny fragments of intact mesic forest remain. The topography 

further inland is more rugged and has resulted in logging tracks following ridges (which usually also 

have the highest density of timber) and trees being removed on and along these tracks. 

 

Because of the isolation of the district from the two major towns on Vanua Levu, Savusavu and 



Labasa, plantations (e.g. pine, mahogany) and paid employment are not likely to render good profit and 

the ocean and forest therefore present the major possible sources of income for inhabitants of the 

district. As a result there is continued interest in exploiting the remaining forest. However, there is also 

good awareness that logging in the forest impacts the ocean and freshwater resources and an initiative 

to declare protected forest areas to safeguard these valuable resources. 

 


Agriculture 

Agriculture is of great importance to Fijian communities, as many are partially or entirely subsistence 

based. In addition there is increased commercial farming. Members of the mataqali Nadicake-Kilaka 

travel for 2 hours (by feet) or 30 minutes (by horse) to reach their plantations, several of which are 

located just east of the proposed reserve. 

 

Therefore, agriculture could place increasing strain on the reserve, if the population of Kilaka village 



increases or if avenues to better market garden produce become available. It is therefore essential that 

proper management plans, which incorporate increasing demands, are now made. As mentioned before 

such management should include improved farming techniques and a system of protected and use 

areas. 


 

 

RECOMMENDATIONS 

 

1.



 

All possible assistance should be provided to the mataqali Nadicake-Kilaka to reserve the area 

they are intending to reserve. It includes some of the biggest remaining trees in Fiji. 

 

2.



 

A management plan should be designed for the land owned by the mataqali and located outside 

the proposed reserve. This would not only allow protecting forest along a rainfall gradient but 

should also ease pressure on the reserve. I suggest that the setting up of this management plan 

involves the following steps: 

-

 



a detailed survey of the entire land of the mataqali Nadicake-Kilaka to determine 

patches currently and recently farmed, old village sites, old garden sites and “old-

growth” forest. This could facilitate designing a dynamic management system of area of 

use, moderate use and total protection. 

-

 

workshops about appropriate and sustainable farming techniques. Because the climber 



Merremia peltata is a major problem (prevents re-growth for 10 years or more), 

agroforestry may be a suitable farming system 

-

 

determination of current human population growth rates and projection of future rates 



The above would be important initial steps towards sustainable farming and easing future 

pressure on the proposed reserve. All steps need to be carried out in close consultation with the 

community. 

 

3.



 

Avenues for income generating activities for the mataqali Nadicake-Kilaka should be set up. 

Although this will not generate as much as logging, it will provide some revenue to landowners. 

Three suggestions are listed below. 

a.

 

Research – having excellent, intact patches of forest remaining, the area provides an 



ideal place for research. The presence of many narrowly restricted endemic plant species 

makes the area a high priority area for plant and insect collection. A farmhouse is 

present east of the proposed reserve and could serve as a research station for interested 

scientists. As an immediate measure, all visiting scientists could be asked to hire 1 or 2 

guides at a rate of $20 per day. 

b.

 



Preferential Buying of Produce: Hotels or shop owners in Savusavu could be contacted, 

once the reserve and management plan are established, regarding preferentially 

purchasing produce (taro, cassava, kava) from a sustainably managed landscape. 

Generating Fair Trade products could be another option to get good prices and a reliable 

market for produce. 


c.

 

Ecotourism: This is probably the most difficult option at present because the remoteness 



of the area, the long distance from the village to good forest sites and the waterfall, the 

bad condition of the road and the wet weather. However, a well-planned project, 

involving horseback rides to the waterfall (at the south-eastern boundary of the land of 

the mataqali Nadicake-Kilaka) in the morning, may be an option in the future. If a 

sustainably managed landscape can be set up, tourists may be interested in seeing this 

also. 


 

4.

 



Frequent and detailed feedback to landowners about any activities on the land of the mataqali 

Nadicake-Nadi needs to be provided. In my experience this should be done orally whenever 

possible, rather than by reports, which are only read by few people. 

 

5.



 

An intensive search for the six narrow endemics reported only from the Mt. Kasi region & the 

Wainunu (see above) should be undertaken in the proposed reserve. The discovery of any of 

these would greatly increase the conservation value of the reserve. 

 

6.

 



Efforts to add parts of the Wainunu Catchment to the reserve should be undertaken, as the 

present reserve is relatively small. 

 

 

REFERENCES: 



 

Ash J 1992. Vegetation ecology of Fiji: past, present, and future perspectives. Pac Sci 46: 111-127.

 

Pannell CM 1992. Taxonomic monograph of the genus Aglaia Lour. (Meliaceae). Kew, UK, Royal Botanic 



Gardens. 

Smith AC 1979. Flora Vitiensis nova: A new flora of Fiji (spermatophytes only). Vol. 1. Lawai, Kauai, 

Hawaii, USA, Pacific Tropical Botanical Garden. 

Smith AC 1981. Flora Vitiensis nova: A new flora of Fiji (spermatophytes only). Vol. 2. Lawai, Kauai, 

Hawaii, USA, Pacific Tropical Botanical Garden. 

Smith AC 1985. Flora Vitiensis nova: A new flora of Fiji (spermatophytes only). Vol. 3. Lawai, Kauai, 

Hawaii, USA, Pacific Tropical Botanical Garden. 

Smith AC 1988. Flora Vitiensis nova: A new flora of Fiji (spermatophytes only). Vol. 4. Lawai, Kauai, 

Hawaii, USA, Pacific Tropical Botanical Garden. 

Smith AC 1991. Flora Vitiensis nova: A new flora of Fiji (spermatophytes only). Vol. 5. Lawai, Kauai, Hawaii, 

USA, Pacific Tropical Botanical Garden. 

Smith AC 1996. Flora Vitiensis nova: A new flora of Fiji (spermatophytes only): Comprehensive 

indices. Lawai, Kauai, Hawaii, USA, Pacific Tropical Botanical Garden. 

 

 



 

 

 



 

 

 



 

 

 



 

APPENDIX 1: Preliminary annotated species checklist for the proposed Kilaka Reserve, 

including species that were previously collected (Smith 1979-96) in the adjacent Wainunu 

Catchment and Mt. Kasi region (listed as other possible species). 

 

PTERIDOPHYTA (Ferns and Fern Allies) 

 

Psilopsida 

 

PSLIOTACEAE 



Psilotum nudum (L.) Beauv. 

Indigenous ground herb. Tropics and subtropics. 

 

Lycopsida 

 

LYCOPODIACEAE 



Huperzia subtrifoliata (Brownlie) Holub 

 Synonym: 



Lycopodium subtrifoliatum Brownlie 

 

Endemic epiphyte and known from Viti Levu and Vanua Levu. 



Lycopodiella cernua (L.) Pichi-Serm. 

 Synonym: 



Lycopdium cernuum L. 

 

Kilaka Name: yalewa nini 

 

Indigenous ground herb. Tropics and subtropics. 



 

SELLAGINELLACEAE 



Selaginella breynoides Baker 

 

Endemic ground herb collected from Viti Levu and Vanua Levu. 



 

Filicopsida 

 

ADIANTACEAE 



Stenochlaena palustris (Burm.) Bedd. 

 

Kilaka Name: wa midri 

 

Indigenous. India to Australia and Polynesia 



Taenitis pinnata (J.Sm.) Holtt. var. polypodiodes (Baker) Holtt. 

 

Species is indigenous to Fiji, occurring in Australia and Melanesia. The variety is endemic to Fiji. 



 

ASPIDIACEAE 



Tectaria sp. 

 

Indigenous. Observed in the field, no specimens collected. 



 

ASPLENIACEAE 



Asplenium amboinense Willd. 

 

Indigenous. Malaysia to Fiji. Climbing fern. 



Asplenium australasicum Hook. 

 

Indigenous. South Pacific. Epiphytic bird’s-nest fern 



Asplenium bipinnatifidum Baker 

 

Indigenous. Fiji and Vanuatu. Climbing epiphyte. 



Asplenium cuneatum Lam. 

 

Indigenous. Tropics. Short-creeping epiphyte. 



 

ATHYRIACEAE 



Callipteris prolifera (Lam.) Bory 

Synonym: Diplazium proliferum (Lam.) Thouars 

 

Indigenous. Tropical Africa to Samoa. 



Diplazium esculentum (Retz.) Sw. 

 

Indigenous. Tropical Asia to Pacific Islands. 



Diplazium harpeodes Moore 

 

Indigenous. Fiji to Polynesia. Terrestrial. 



 

BLECHNACEAE 



Blechnum orientale L. 

Indigenous. Tropical Asia to the Pacific. 

 

CYATHEACEAE 



Cyathea hornei Copel. 

 

Indigenous. New Guinea to Fiji. 



Cyathea lunulata (G.Forst.) Copel. 

 

Indigenous. Marianas and Carolines to Samoa 



 

DAVLLIACEAE 



Davallia solida (G.Forst.) Sw. var. fejeensis (Hook.) Notenb. 

Synonym: Davallia fejeensis Hk. 

 

Indigenous, epiphytic fern. The variety is endemic to Fiji. 



Davallia solida (G.Forst.) Swartz var. solida 

 

Indigenous, epiphytic fern. 



Nephrolepis biserrata (Sw.) Schott 

Indigenous. Terrestrial. Pantropical. 



Nephrolepis hirsutula (G.Forst.) Presl 

 

Indigenous. Terrestrial. Tropical Asia to the Pacific Islands. 



Nephrolepis tuberosa (Bory ex Willd.) Presl 

 

Indigenous, mostly epiphytic. Masacrenes to the Pacific. 



Oleandra neriiformis Cav. 

 

Kilaka Name: sova ni gata 

Indigenous. Tropical Asia to Samoa. Epiphyte. 

 

DENNSTAEDTIACEAE 



Orthiopteris tenuis (Brack.) Brownlie 

 

Indigenous, terrestrial fern. South Pacific. 



 

GLEICHENIACEAE 



Dicranopteris linearis (Burm.) Underw. 

 

Kilaka Name: qato 

 

Indigenous. Tropics and subtropics. 



 

HYMENOPHYLLACEAE (filmy ferns) 



Hymenophyllum affine Brack. 

 

Endemic epiphyte. Collected from several high islands. 



Cephalomanes boryanum (Kunze) Copel. 

Synonym: Trichomanes boryanum Kunze 

 

Indigenous, mostly terrestrial herb. Vanuatu, Fiji, Samoa. Most common in ephemeral stream beds and along stream 



banks. 

Crepidomanes endlicherianum (Presl) P.S.Green 

Synonym: Trichomanes endlicherianum Presl 

 

Indigenous. Epiphytic climber. South Pacific. 



Selenodesmium dentatum (Bosch) Copel. 

Synonym: Trichomanes dentatum Bosch 

 

Indigenous. New Caledonia, Fiji and Polynesia. Most common in ephemeral stream beds and along stream banks. 



Nesopteris intermedia (Bosch) Copel. 

Synonym: Trichomanes intermedium Bosch 

 

Indigenous terrestrial herb. Common along stream banks. New Guinea to Samoa. 



 

LOMARIOPSIDACEAE 



Lommagramma polyphylla Brack. 

 

Indigenous. Santa Cruz Islands to Tonga. 



 

MARATTIACEAE 



Angiopteris evecta (G.Forst.) Hoffm. 

 

Indigenous. From SE Asia into the Pacific. Large terrestrial fern that produces leaves from a short, massive, fleshy 

base. 

Marattia smithii Mett. ex Kuhn 

 

Indigenous. Vanuatu, Fiji and Samoa. Large terrestrial fern that produces leaves from a short, massive, fleshy base. 



 

POLYPODIACEAE 



Dipteris conjugata Reinw. 

 

Indigenous. Thailand to Fiji. 



Drynaria rigidula (Sw.) Bedd. 

 

Indigenous. Malaya and Sumatra to Australia and Polynesia. 



Lemmaphyllum accedens (Bl.) Donk 

 

Indigenous. Malaysia to Polynesia. 



Microsorum mebranifolium (R.Br.) Ching 

Synonym: Phymatosorus nigrescens (Bl.) Pichi-Serm. 

 

Kilaka Name: drau basaqa 

 

Indigenous. SE Asia to Polynesia. 



Polypodium subauriculatum Bl. 

 Synonym: 



Gonioplebium subauriculatum (Bl.) Pr. 

Indigenous epiphyte. Tropical Asia to the Pacific. 



Pyrrosia lanceolata (L.) Farw. 

 Synonym: Pyrrosia adnascens (Sw.) Ching 

 

Indigenous. SE Asia to Polynesia. 



 

SCHIZAEACEAE 



Lygodium reticulatum Schkuhr 

 

Indigenous. Vanuatu, Queensland, Fiji, Polynesia. 



Schizaea dichotoma (L.) Smith 

 Indigenous. 

South 

Pacific and Indian Ocean. 



 

THELYPTERIDACEAE 



Pronephrium rubinerve (Mett.) Holtt. 

 

Indigenous. New Ireland to Fiji. 



 

VITTARIACEAE 



Anthrophyum alatum Brack. 

 

Indigenous. New Caledonia to Tahiti. 



Haplopteris elongata (Sw.) E.H.Crane 

 Synonym: 



Vittaria elongata Sw. 

 

Indigenous. Tropical Asia to Polynesia. 



Monogramma acrocarpa (Holtt.) D.L.Jones 

 Synonym: 



Vaginularia angustissima (Brack.) Mett. 

 

Indigenous epiphyte. Fiji and Vanuatu. 



 

 

GYMNOSPERMS (cone-bearing plants) 

 

Coniferales (conifers) 

 

ARAUCARIACEAE 



Agathis macrophylla (Lind.) Mast. 

 Synonym: 



A. vitiense (Seem.) Benth. & Hook.f. ex Drake 

 

Kilaka name: tahua tina 

 

Other Common Fijian name: dakua makadre 



Indigenous. Santa Cruz Islands, Vanuatu and Fiji. 

 

PODOCARPACEAE 



Dacrydium nidulum de Laub. 

 

Kilaka name: yaka 

Indigenous. SE Asia to Fiji. 


Podocarpus nerifolius D.Don 

 

Kilaka name: bauwaka 

 

Other Common Fijian name: kuasi 



Indigenous. SE Asia and Pacific. 

Retrophyllum vitiense (Seem.) C.N.Page 

 Synonym: 



Decussocarpus vitiensis (Seem.) de Laub. 

 

Kilaka name: tahua salusalu 

 

Indigenous. Malesia and Melanesia 



 

Gnetales 

 

GNETACEAE 



Gnetum gnemon L. 

 

Kilaka name:  bele sukau, bele ni suka 

 

Indigenous. SE Asia to Fiji. 



 

 

ANGIOSPERMS (flowering plants) 

 

Monocotyledones 

 

AGAVCEAE 



Cordyline terminalis (L.) Kunth 

 Synonym: 



Cordyline fruticosa L. 

 

Kilaka name: qai ni Viti 

 

Likely to be an aboriginal introduction to the Pacific but widely naturalized. 



 

ARACEAE 


Alocasia macrorrhiza (L.) G.Don 

 

Probably and aboriginal introduction. India to the Pacific. 



Colocasia esculenta L. 

 

Aboriginal introduction. Trop. Asia. Commonly planted in food gardens. 



Epipremnum pinnatum (L.) Engl. 

 




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