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Location Fiji, Viti Levu
Central coordinates 178o 26.00' East  17o 22.00' South
IBA criteria A4i, A4iii
Area 2 ha
Altitude 0 - 65m
Year of IBA assessment 2006

NatureFiji- MareqetiViti (Affiliate)

Summary Vatu-i-Ra supports a large breeding and non-breeding population of Black Noddies together with a range of other breeding seabirds. 

Site description Vatu-i-Ra is a small island approximately 100m by 300m wide, comprising two small hills connected by a narrow neck.  The higher north-east side and each end of the island are composed of volcanic rock. The rest of the islands consists of flat coral sand, not far above spring high tide level. 

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Black Noddy Anous minutus breeding  2003  28,000 breeding pairs  poor  A4i  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds 2003  28,000 breeding pairs  poor  A4iii   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Vatu-i-ra Marine Protected Area - Locally Managed Marine Area (LMMA) 0 protected area contains site 2  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Dry evergreen forest (tropical)  major
Coastline Sand dunes & beaches  minor
Rocky areas   minor
Sea Coral reefs and lagoons; Marine areas; Open Sea; Shallow marine waters  major

Land ownership The island is uninhabited but is regularly visited by fishers and occasional tourists on dive trips. The island is under the Native Tenure and is owned by the Nagilogilo clan.

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
fisheries/aquaculture minor
tourism/recreation minor
not utilised minor
Notes: The island itself is not utilised except for short visits by fishers staying on the island.
nature conservation and research minor
Notes: Local community landowners are working with several conservation organisations to enhance the biodiversity value of the site, including both marine and terrestrial areas.

Other biodiversity Turtles have been reported to nest on the beach. An endemic skink, Pygmy Snake-eyed Skink, also occurs on Vatu-i-Ra.

Protection status Unprotected. Site of National Significance. The site meets the Ramsar criteria owing to its internationally significant waterbird population.

Related state of the world's birds case studies

References Barrit, W.K.(1979/1980) Seabird observations in Fijian waters. Sea Swallow 30:22-36. Bird, J. P. et al. (in prep.) The identification of marine Important Bird Areas in the western South Pacific. Bird, J. (2011) eBird: An online database of bird distribution and abundance [web application]. Version 2. eBird, Ithaca, New York. Available: (Accessed: January 1, 2012). BirdLife International (2003) Field Report No. 19: Bird Survey of Vatu-i-Ra Island, 18-19 and 22-23 December 2003. BirdLife International, Suva, Fiji. Congdon, B. C., Erwin, C. A., Peck, D. R., Baker, G. B., Double, M. C. and O’Neill, P. (2007) Vulnerability of seabirds on the Great Barrier Reef to climate change. In: Climate Change and the Great Barrier Reef: a vulnerability assessment. Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and Australian Greenhouse Office, Townsville, QLD, Australia, pp. 465-497. Environment Consultants (2006) First Monitoring Survey of Vatuira Island, Lomaiviti, Fiji - August 15-20, 2006. Unpublished report to BirdLife International. Morris, R. O. (Undated) Unpublished notes on birds observed in Fiji. NatureFiji-MareqetiViti (2007) Second Monitoring Survey of Vatuira Island, Lomaiviti, Fiji - June 8-11, 2007. Unpublished report to BirdLife International. Roneil, J., Seniloli, E., Cranwell, S. and Tuamoto, T. (2008) Third Monitoring Survey of Vatu-i-Ra Island, Lomaiviti, Fiji - January 14-17, 2008. Unpublished report to BirdLife International. Rosenstein, M. (2010) eBird: An online database of bird distribution and abundance [web application]. Version 2. eBird, Ithaca, New York. Available: (Accessed: February 2, 2011). Tarburton, M.K.(1978) Some recent observations on seabirds breeding in Fiji. Notornis 25: 303-316. Tarburton M.K.(1987) Migration and breeding strategy of the Black Noddy, Fiji. Emu 87: 50-52.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Vatu-i-Ra. Downloaded from on 23/10/2014

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