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Location Fiji, Taveuni
Central coordinates 179o 59.99' East  16o 53.00' South
IBA criteria A1, A2
Area 28,700 ha
Altitude 0 - 1,241m
Year of IBA assessment 2006

NatureFiji- MareqetiViti (Affiliate)



Summary This site supports the majority of the world’s Silktails (NT) and many other endemic birds.  It may also hold the largest breeding colony of Tahiti Petrel in Fiji, as well as other burrow-nesting seabirds. This incorporates the largest currently protected area in Fiji and includes a spectacular expanse of primary forest from shore to summit.

Site description 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 the north side is in a slight rain-shadow. 

Key Biodiversity The Taveuni Mountains retain extensive unsurveyed forest which may be suitable for Red-throated Lorikeet, although none have been confirmed since 11 specimens were taken between 1887 and 1912. The majority of the world populations of eight subspecies of bird endemic to Taveuni breed in this IBA. A1 Globally threatened species * [Red-throated Lorikeet (CR) – historical records (last sighting in 1875); may still occur] * Friendly Ground-dove (VU) – fairly common * Black-faced Shrikebill (VU) – uncommon * Tahiti Petrel (NT) – the largest recorded numbers in Fiji (>150 were seen offshore in 2003) * Silktail (NT) – most of the estimated 5,000–8,000 pairs on Taveuni breed here A2 Restricted-range species 23 species (out of 23 on Taveuni), including all three endemic to Taveuni and Vanua Levu. A4ii Congregatory seabird species * Tahiti Petrel – poorly known but may meet the threshold of >100 pairs]

Non-bird biodiversity: Only partial surveys have been completed for plants but at least seven plant species are identified as endemic to this IBA. Threatened endemic plants include Syzygium phaeophyllum (CR), Alsmithia longipes (EN) and Neuburgia macroloba (EN). Also found commonly at higher altitudes on the island is the well-known Tagimaucia Medinilla waterhousei, which has been suggested as a suitable national flower for Fiji. The Fiji Flying-fox (CR) is only known from a few specimens from the summit forests of Taveuni. Both the Fijian Ground Frog (EN) and Fijian Tree Frog (NT) are found here, alongside several lizards which do not occur on islands with mongoose.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Tahiti Petrel Pseudobulweria rostrata breeding  2003  150 individuals  poor  A1  Near Threatened 
Fiji Goshawk Accipiter rufitorques resident  2003-2005  uncommon  A2  Least Concern 
Shy Ground-dove Alopecoenas stairi resident  2003-2005  frequent  A1, A2  Vulnerable 
Many-coloured Fruit-dove Ptilinopus perousii resident  2003-2005  uncommon  A2  Least Concern 
Orange Dove Chrysoena victor resident  2003-2005  common  A2  Least Concern 
Barking Imperial-pigeon Ducula latrans resident  2003-2005  common  A2  Least Concern 
Collared Lory Phigys solitarius resident  2003-2005  frequent  A2  Least Concern 
Red-throated Lorikeet Charmosyna amabilis resident  1912  present  A1, A2  Critically Endangered 
Maroon Shining-parrot Prosopeia tabuensis resident  2003-2005  frequent  A2  Least Concern 
Wattled Honeyeater Foulehaio carunculatus resident  2003-2005  abundant  A2  Least Concern 
Giant Honeyeater Gymnomyza viridis resident  2003-2005  frequent  A2  Least Concern 
Orange-breasted Myzomela Myzomela jugularis resident  2003-2005  common  A2  Least Concern 
Fiji Woodswallow Artamus mentalis resident  2003-2005  rare  A2  Least Concern 
Polynesian Triller Lalage maculosa resident  2003-2005  common  A2  Least Concern 
Streaked Fantail Rhipidura verreauxi resident  2003-2005  common  A2  Least Concern 
Slaty Monarch Mayrornis lessoni resident  2003-2005  abundant  A2  Least Concern 
Fiji Shrikebill Clytorhynchus vitiensis resident  2003-2005  frequent  A2  Least Concern 
Black-throated Shrikebill Clytorhynchus nigrogularis resident  2003-2005  uncommon  A1, A2  Vulnerable 
Vanikoro Flycatcher Myiagra vanikorensis resident  2003-2005  uncommon  A2  Least Concern 
Blue-crested Flycatcher Myiagra azureocapilla resident  2003-2005  common  A2  Least Concern 
Silktail Lamprolia victoriae resident  2003-2005  4,000-7,000 breeding pairs  good  A1, A2  Near Threatened 
Fiji Bush-warbler Cettia ruficapilla resident  2003-2005  common  A2  Least Concern 
Layard's White-eye Zosterops explorator resident  2003-2005  abundant  A2  Least Concern 
Polynesian Starling Aplonis tabuensis resident  2003-2005  uncommon  A2  Least Concern 
Fiji Parrotfinch Erythrura pealii resident  2003-2005  frequent  A2  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2006 low not assessed low
unset
Poor - based on little, or potentially unreliable/unrepresentative, data

Agricultural expansion and intensification annual & perennial non-timber crops - small-holder farming happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low
Invasive and other problematic species and genes invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - named species happening now whole area/population (>90%) no or imperceptible deterioration low

Some of site covered (10-49%)  No management planning has taken place  Some limited conservation initiatives are in place  low 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Bouma National Park Heritage Park 15,000 protected area contained by site 15,000  
Ravilevu Nature Reserve 4,020 protected area contained by site 4,020  
Taveuni Reserved Forest 11,295 protected area contained by site 11,295  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest   major
Wetlands (inland)   minor
Coastline   minor

Land ownership The land tenure is a mixture of Native Lands and Freehold Lands. 

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
forestry -
tourism/recreation -

Protection status Taveuni Forest Reserve, Ravilevu Nature Reserve, Bouma National Heritage Park

References Atkinson, I. A. E. (1985) The spread of commensal species of Rattus to oceanic islands and their effect on island avifaunas. Pages 35-81 in P. J. Moors, editor. Conservation of island birds. International Council for Bird Preservation, Cambridge, United Kingdom. BIRDLIFE INTERNATIONAL (2005) Fiji Programme IBA project field reports Nos 39 and 40. Botanical Biodiversity in Fiji. Technical Group 3,Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan. Suva: Department of Environment. Unpublished report. Bruderer, B., Peter, D. and Steuri, T. (1999) Behavior of migrating birds exposed to Xband radar and a bright light beam. Journal of Experimental Biology 202: 1015–1022. Le Corre, M., Ollivier, A., Ribes, S. and Jouventin, P. (2002) Light-induced mortality of petrels: a 4-year study from Réunion Island (Indian Ocean). Biol. Conserv. 105: 93–102. Croxall, J. P., Butchart, S. H. M., Lascelles, B., Stattersfield, A. J., Sullivan, B., Symes, A. and Taylor, P. (2012) Seabird conservation status, threats and priority actions: a global assessment. Bird Conservation International 22: 1-34. Duffy, D. C. (2010) Changing Seabird Management in Hawai‘i: from exploitation through management to restoration. Waterbirds 33: 193-207. FLANNERY, T. F. (1995) Mammals of the South-west Pacific and Moluccan Islands. Sydney: Reed Books.GoF (1998) GOF-IUCN (1993) An Integrated Development Plan for Taveuni Island. National Environment Management Project. Suva: Government of Fiji. IUCN SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group (2012) Rattus exulans. Global Invasive Species Database. Downloaded from http://www.issg.org/database/species/ecology.asp?si=170&fr=1&sts=sss on 8th October 2012. Jones, H. P., Tershy, B. R., Zavaleta, E. S., Croll, D. A., Keitt, B. S., Finkelstein, M. E. and Howald, G. R. (2008) Severity of the effects of invasive rats on seabirds: a global review. Conservation Biology 22: 16-26. Kepler, B. (1967) Polynesian rat predation on nesting Laysan Albatrosses and other Pacific seabirds. Auk 84: 426-430. Miles, W., Money, S., Luxmoore, R. and Furness, R.W. (2010) Effects of artificial lights and moonlight on petrels at St Kilda. Bird Study 57: 244–251. MORLEY, C. G. (2004) Has the invasive mongoose Herpestes javanicus yet reached the island of Taveuni, Fiji? Oryx 38: 457–460. NLTB AND MINISTRY OF FORESTRY (1991) A Management Plan for Bouma Forest Park, Taveuni, Fiji Islands. Wellington: New Zealand Ministry of External Relations and Trade. NLTB AND MINISTRY OF FORESTRY (1994) Bouma Environmental Tourism Project. Suva: Government of Fiji. Unpublished report. Reed, J.R., Sincock, J.L. & Hailman, J.P. (1985) Light attraction in endangered Procellariiform birds: reduction by shielding upward radiation. Auk 102: 377–383. Rodrigues, P., Aubrecht, C., Gil, A., Longcore, T. and Elvidge, C. (2011) Remote sensing to map influence of light pollution on Cory’s Shearwater in São Miguel Island, Azores Archipelago. Eur. J. Wildl. Res. doi: 10.1007/s10344-011-0555-5. Rodríguez, A. and Rodríguez, B. (2009) Attraction of petrels to artificial lights in the Canary Islands: effect of the moon phase and age class. Ibis 151: 299–310. Rodríguez, C., Torres, R. and Drummond, H. (2006) Eradicating introduced mammals from a forested tropical island. Biological Conservation 130: 98-105. SWINNERTON, K. AND MALJKOVIC, A. (2002) The Red-throated Lorikeet Charmosyna amabilis in the Fiji Islands. Suva: National Trust for Fiji and World Parrot Trust. Unpublished report. Telfer, T.C., Sincock, J.L., Byrd, G.V. and Reed, J.R. (1987) Attraction of Hawaiian seabirds to lights: conservation efforts and effects of moon phase. Wildl. Soc. Bull. 15: 406–413. WATLING, D. (1986) Notes on the Collared Petrel Pterodroma (leucoptera) brevipes. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists Club 106: 63–70.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Taveuni Highlands. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 27/12/2014

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