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Summary



This IBA covers all of Rotuma as this small island

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

agriculture.

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Site description



The IBA consists of the main island of Rotuma and

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.

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SITE ACCOUNTS



FJ01 ROTUMA

Coordinates

 12°35’S 177°10’E  (north of main Fijian group) 

 

Area

 42 km

2

 



 Altitude

 0–260 m

Status

 Unprotected. Site of National Significance.

IBA criteria

 A1 (globally threatened birds); A2 (restricted-range birds)

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

Rotuman Myzomela 

Myzomela chermesina.

(

ILLUSTRATION



: D

ICK


 W

ATLING


)

0

2



4

km

M o t u s a



F J 0 1

21

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

specific Act.

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Birds

A1 (globally threatened species)

[Bristle-thighed Curlew (VU) – non-breeding

visitor in unknown but probably very small

numbers]




Rotuman Myzomela (VU) – common to abundant

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.



wiglesworthi occur in this IBA. Rotuma also supports

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.

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Other biodiversity



Rotuma has one other endemic vertebrate, the

Rotuman Forest Gecko, and two other lizards endemic

to Fiji, the Green Tree Skink and Barred Tree Skink.

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Conservation



The Rotuman Myzomela is common in all habitats

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.

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References



C

LUNIE


, F. (1984) Birds of the Fiji bush. Suva: Fiji Museum.

C

LUNIE



, F. (1985) Notes on the bats and birds of Rotuma.

Domodomo 3: 153–160.

W

ATLING



, D. in litt. 2005

Z

UG



, G. R., S

PRINGER


, V. G., W

ILLIAMS


, J. T. 

AND


 J

OHNSON


,

G. D. (1989) The vertebrates of Rotuma and surrounding

waters. Atoll Research Bulletin 316: 1–25.

Important Bird Areas in Fiji – Site accounts

Bristle-thighed Curlew 

Numenius tahitiensis. (

PHOTO

: G


UY

 D

UTSON



/B

IRD


L

IFE


)

22

FJ02 WAILEVU/DREKETI HIGHLANDS

Other names

 Delainacau; Drawa; Waisali; Delaikoro

Coordinates

 16°38’S, 179°24’E (central Vanua Levu)  

Area

 720 km

2

  



Altitude

 90–941 m (Delainacau 300–744 m;

Drawa 300–700 m; Valili 457–904 m; Waisali 350–650 m; Delaikoro 90–941 m)

Status

 Unprotected except for Waisali Forest Amenity Reserve (120 ha). Most is a Site of National Significance.

IBA criteria

 A1 (globally threatened birds); A2 (restricted-range birds)

Important Bird Areas in Fiji – Site accounts

Tavea Peak, Wailevu. (

PHOTO

: M


OALA

 T

OKOTA



A

/WCS)



Vanua Levu

F J 0 2

Natua


Va t u v o n u

Drawa


Wa i s a l i

M t   D e l a i k o r o

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km

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Summary



This IBA contains the only known site for the Vanua

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

Delainacau.

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Site description



The Wailevu/Dreketi Highlands IBA consists of

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

14 km


2

) is still unlogged, especially around the ridges

extending east to west towards Delaikoro. Delainacau

(about 11 km

2

) is largely logged but the steep slopes



remain as old-growth forest. The Drawa forest (6,346

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).

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Birds

A1 (globally threatened species)



Friendly Ground-dove (VU) – fairly common in

some areas



[Long-legged Warbler (VU) – the only record of

the Vanua Levu subspecies T. r. clunei was from

here in 1974; probably still occurs]





Black-faced Shrikebill (VU) – rare

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.

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Other biodiversity

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.

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Conservation

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

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.



References

B

IRD



L

IFE


 I

NTERNATIONAL

 Fiji Programme IBA project field

reports Nos 26, 31, 34, 35 and 36.

F

UNG


, C. (2005) Profile of the Drawa Model Area. Appraisal

of a Rural Forest Area in Fiji. Suva: Pacific German

Regional Forestry Project. Unpublished report.

G

O



F (1998) Botanical Biodiversity in Fiji. Technical Group 3,

Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan. Suva: Department

of Environment. Unpublished report:

M

ORRISON



, C., N

AIKATINI


, A., T

HOMAS


, N., R

OUNDS


, I.,

T

HAMAN



, B. 

AND


 N

IUKULA


, J. (2004) Importance of Waisali

Reserve, Vanua Levu for herpetofauna conservation in Fiji.



South Pacific Journal of Natural Science 22: 71–74.

S

OUTH



 P

ACIFIC


 R

EGIONAL


 H

ERBARIUM


 (2004) Baseline Floral

and Faunal Survey of Waisali Reserve, Cakaudrove, Fiji

Island. Biodiversity and Ethnobiodiversity Report. Suva:

South Pacific Regional Herbarium.

T

UIWAWA


, M. in litt. (1999, 2000)

Important Bird Areas in Fiji – Site accounts



24

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Summary



This IBA contains most of the large remaining forest

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

Ground-doves (VU).

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Site description



This IBA covers the largest tracts of remaining old-

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).

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Birds



A1 Globally threatened species



Friendly Ground-dove (VU) – often seen



Silktail (NT) – a high proportion of the Natewa/

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.

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Other biodiversity



There have been no systematic surveys of any

biodiversity groups except for birds in the IBA.



FJ03 NATEWA/TUNULOA PENINSULA

Other names

 Tunuloa; Tunuloa Silktail Reserve; Natovotovo forest



Coordinates

 16°36’S, 179°49’E (south-east Vanua Levu)  

Area

 176 km

2

 



 Altitude

 0–832 m


Status

 Not protected. Site of National Significance.



IBA criteria

 A1 (globally threatened birds); A2 (restricted-range birds)

Important Bird Areas in Fiji – Site accounts

N a v e t a u

Koroivonu

Vu s a s i v o

N a t e w a

Nawi


0

2

4



km

F J 0 3

Vanua Levu



25

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Conservation



The Natewa/Tunuloa peninsula has suffered

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



mataqali in at least four villages around the IBA to

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

peninsula.

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References



B

IRD


L

IFE


 I

NTERNATIONAL

 Fiji Programme IBA project field

reports Nos 24 and 41.

Important Bird Areas in Fiji – Site accounts

Orange Dove 

Chrysoenas victor. (

PHOTO


: T

IM

 L



AMAN

)


26

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Summary



The Taveuni Highlands IBA supports a good

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.

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Site description



The Taveuni Highlands IBA is the combination of

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

2

). Taveuni is an old shield volcano



dotted with more than 150 volcanic craters, which

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

Other names

 Ravilevu Nature Reserve; Taveuni Forest Reserve; Bouma National Heritage Park



Coordinates

 16º53’S, 180ºE (Taveuni)  



Area

 287 km


2

  

Altitude

 0–1,241 m

Status

 Ravilevu Nature Reserve (40 km

2

) and Taveuni Forest Reserve (113 km



2

) 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).



IBA criteria

 A1 (globally threatened birds); A2 (restricted-range birds)

Important Bird Areas in Fiji – Site accounts

Silktail 

Lamprolia victoriae.

(

PHOTO



: V

ILIKESA


 M

ASIBALAVU

/B

IRD


L

IFE


)

Vanua Levu

D e v o u x   P e a k

F J 0 4

Somosomo


L a v e n a

Bouma


Ta v e u n i

0

2



4

km


27

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

unfragmented forest.

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Birds

A1 Globally threatened species


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