The proposed reserve will approximately straddle the 200m altitude line on its western side and
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
I believe that the proposed reserve should be extended to include most of the remaining patches of
eastern end of the land of the mataqali Nadicake-Kilaka. However, such an extension would require a
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).
I believe that gazetting the proposed reserve should be considered a high conservation priority. This is
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
[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],
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.
There is a strong desire by the community to protect their remaining forests from logging
forests because the money was quickly spent
they hope to start an ecotourism project sometimes in the future
The community would appreciate more frequent and more detailed feedback on the research
The major threat to the forests of Kubulau is logging. This is evident in the fact that only two
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
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 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
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
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.
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:
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
agroforestry may be a suitable farming system
determination of current human population growth rates and projection of future rates
pressure on the proposed reserve. All steps need to be carried out in close consultation with the
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.
Research – having excellent, intact patches of forest remaining, the area provides an
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.
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.
Ecotourism: This is probably the most difficult option at present because the remoteness
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
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.
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.
present reserve is relatively small.
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
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,
Smith AC 1985. Flora Vitiensis nova: A new flora of Fiji (spermatophytes only). Vol. 3. Lawai, Kauai,
Smith AC 1988. Flora Vitiensis nova: A new flora of Fiji (spermatophytes only). Vol. 4. Lawai, Kauai,
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.
PTERIDOPHYTA (Ferns and Fern Allies)
Indigenous ground herb. Tropics and subtropics.
Endemic epiphyte and known from Viti Levu and Vanua Levu.
Kilaka Name: yalewa nini
Endemic ground herb collected from Viti Levu and Vanua Levu.
Kilaka Name: wa midri
Indigenous. India to Australia and Polynesia
Species is indigenous to Fiji, occurring in Australia and Melanesia. The variety is endemic to Fiji.
Indigenous. Observed in the field, no specimens collected.
Indigenous. Malaysia to Fiji. Climbing fern.
Indigenous. South Pacific. Epiphytic bird’s-nest fern
Indigenous. Fiji and Vanuatu. Climbing epiphyte.
Indigenous. Tropics. Short-creeping epiphyte.
Synonym: Diplazium proliferum (Lam.) Thouars
Indigenous. Tropical Africa to Samoa.
Indigenous. Tropical Asia to Pacific Islands.
Indigenous. Fiji to Polynesia. Terrestrial.
Indigenous. Tropical Asia to the Pacific.
Indigenous. New Guinea to Fiji.
Indigenous. Marianas and Carolines to Samoa
Synonym: Davallia fejeensis Hk.
Indigenous, epiphytic fern. The variety is endemic to Fiji.
Indigenous, epiphytic fern.
Indigenous. Terrestrial. Pantropical.
Indigenous. Terrestrial. Tropical Asia to the Pacific Islands.
Indigenous, mostly epiphytic. Masacrenes to the Pacific.
Kilaka Name: sova ni gata
Indigenous. Tropical Asia to Samoa. Epiphyte.
Indigenous, terrestrial fern. South Pacific.
Kilaka Name: qato
Indigenous. Tropics and subtropics.
HYMENOPHYLLACEAE (filmy ferns)
Endemic epiphyte. Collected from several high islands.
Synonym: Trichomanes boryanum Kunze
Indigenous, mostly terrestrial herb. Vanuatu, Fiji, Samoa. Most common in ephemeral stream beds and along stream
Synonym: Trichomanes endlicherianum Presl
Indigenous. Epiphytic climber. South Pacific.
Synonym: Trichomanes dentatum Bosch
Indigenous. New Caledonia, Fiji and Polynesia. Most common in ephemeral stream beds and along stream banks.
Synonym: Trichomanes intermedium Bosch
Indigenous terrestrial herb. Common along stream banks. New Guinea to Samoa.
Indigenous. Santa Cruz Islands to Tonga.
Indigenous. From SE Asia into the Pacific. Large terrestrial fern that produces leaves from a short, massive, fleshy
Marattia smithii Mett. ex Kuhn
Indigenous. Vanuatu, Fiji and Samoa. Large terrestrial fern that produces leaves from a short, massive, fleshy base.
Indigenous. Thailand to Fiji.
Indigenous. Malaya and Sumatra to Australia and Polynesia.
Indigenous. Malaysia to Polynesia.
Synonym: Phymatosorus nigrescens (Bl.) Pichi-Serm.
Kilaka Name: drau basaqa
Indigenous. SE Asia to Polynesia.
Indigenous epiphyte. Tropical Asia to the Pacific.
Synonym: Pyrrosia adnascens (Sw.) Ching
Indigenous. Vanuatu, Queensland, Fiji, Polynesia.
Pacific and Indian Ocean.
Indigenous. New Ireland to Fiji.
Indigenous. New Caledonia to Tahiti.
Indigenous. Tropical Asia to Polynesia.
Indigenous epiphyte. Fiji and Vanuatu.
GYMNOSPERMS (cone-bearing plants)
Kilaka name: tahua tina
Other Common Fijian name: dakua makadre
Kilaka name: yaka
Indigenous. SE Asia to Fiji.
Kilaka name: bauwaka
Other Common Fijian name: kuasi
Kilaka name: tahua salusalu
Indigenous. Malesia and Melanesia
Kilaka name: bele sukau, bele ni suka
Indigenous. SE Asia to Fiji.
Kilaka name: qai ni Viti
Likely to be an aboriginal introduction to the Pacific but widely naturalized.
Probably and aboriginal introduction. India to the Pacific.
Aboriginal introduction. Trop. Asia. Commonly planted in food gardens.