|Location||Fiji, Viti Levu|
|Central coordinates||178o 0.00' East 17o 46.00' South|
|IBA criteria||A1, A2|
|Altitude||610 - 930m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2006|
Ornithological information The montane forests from Rairaimatuku to the Greater Tomaniivi IBA are the best hope for survival of Red-throated Lorikeet but ongoing surveys are still required to confirm its current status. The species was reportedly "well known to everyone in Nadrau" in 1979 and there are a few records in the Nadrau area until 1993. The IBA is nationally important for the numbers of Pacific Black Duck on Monasavu reservoir, where a maximum of 120 have been seen, and Peregrine Falcons probably breed. A1 Globally threatened species * [Red-throated Lorikeet (CR) – last known site (last sighting in 1993); may still occur] * Long-legged Warbler (EN) – one of only two known populations; at least two pairs * Friendly Ground-dove (VU) – uncommon * Pink-billed Parrotfinch (VU) – uncommon * Black-faced Shrikebill (VU) – fairly common * Masked Shining Parrot (NT) – uncommon at this altitude A2 Restricted-range species 24 species (out of 25 known from Viti Levu), including all three endemic to Viti Levu.
Site description The Rairaimatuku Highlands qualifies as an IBA as it is one of only three known sites for the Long-legged Warbler (EN). It is a large area of montane forest supporting all the other threatened and endemic species on Viti Levu, but the extremely rare Red-throated Lorikeet (CR) has not been seen for some years. Some of the area receives partial protection as a watershed for Fiji’s largest hydro-electric dams.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Fiji Goshawk Accipiter rufitorques||resident||2005||rare [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Shy Ground-dove Gallicolumba stairi||resident||2005||uncommon [units unknown]||-||A1, A2||Vulnerable|
|Many-coloured Fruit-dove Ptilinopus perousii||resident||2005||frequent [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Golden Dove Ptilinopus luteovirens||resident||2005||abundant [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Peale's Imperial-pigeon Ducula latrans||resident||2005||abundant [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Collared Lory Phigys solitarius||resident||2005||common [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Red-throated Lorikeet Charmosyna amabilis||resident||1993||unknown [units unknown]||-||A1, A2||Critically Endangered|
|Masked Shining-parrot Prosopeia personata||resident||2005||uncommon [units unknown]||-||A1, A2||Near Threatened|
|Wattled Honeyeater Foulehaio carunculatus||resident||2005||abundant [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Giant Honeyeater Gymnomyza viridis||resident||2005||abundant [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Orange-breasted Myzomela Myzomela jugularis||resident||2005||abundant [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Fiji Woodswallow Artamus mentalis||resident||2005||common [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Polynesian Triller Lalage maculosa||resident||2005||abundant [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Streaked Fantail Rhipidura verreauxi||resident||2005||common [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Slaty Monarch Mayrornis lessoni||resident||2005||rare [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Fiji Shrikebill Clytorhynchus vitiensis||resident||2005||frequent [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Black-throated Shrikebill Clytorhynchus nigrogularis||resident||2005||uncommon [units unknown]||-||A1, A2||Vulnerable|
|Vanikoro Flycatcher Myiagra vanikorensis||resident||2005||common [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Blue-crested Flycatcher Myiagra azureocapilla||resident||2005||rare [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Long-legged Thicketbird Trichocichla rufa||resident||2005||2 breeding pairs||poor||A1, A2||Endangered|
|Fiji Bush-warbler Cettia ruficapilla||resident||2005||abundant [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Layard's White-eye Zosterops explorator||resident||2005||abundant [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Polynesian Starling Aplonis tabuensis||resident||2005||abundant [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Fiji Parrotfinch Erythrura pealii||resident||2005||abundant [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Pink-billed Parrotfinch Erythrura kleinschmidti||resident||2005||uncommon [units unknown]||-||A1, A2||Vulnerable|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Artificial landscapes (aquatic)||-|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
Other biodiversity The Rairaimatuku area is the only known site for the endemic Montane Tree Skink although this species is likely to occur elsewhere in montane Viti Levu. Other endemic species include Fijian Tree Frog (NT) and Green Tree Skink, but the plants and other biodiversity are poorly known.
Management considerations Forestry; Agriculture
Protection status Unprotected. Site of National Significance.
Conservation response The Rairaimatuku area is threatened by logging. New logging tracks were being opened during project fieldwork (2002–04), degrading the forest and opening access to invasive alien species, such as mongoose and Black Rats. Whilst there is no logging in the immediate water catchments of the various hydro-electricity dams, which are protected by the FEA, this logging is likely to have an impact on the water level and quality in the dams through local climate change and run-off. Forest is being lost at a much slower rate through clearance for agricultural land, especially close to the roads. The FEA office close to the Monasavu Dam could be used as a base for education, research and conservation. The impacts of invasive alien species are poorly known but predation by mongoose probably caused the historical extirpation of Collated Petrel and predation by rats may have caused the recent or imminent extinction of the Red-throated Lorikeet.
References BIRDLIFE INTERNATIONAL Fiji Programme IBA project field reports Nos 2, 33 and 42. CLUNIE, F. (1979) Rough notes on the birds of Nadrau, Central Viti Levu. Heritage [Newsletter of the Fiji Museum, Suva]. HOLYOAK, D. T. (1979) Notes on the birds of Viti Levu and Taveuni, Fiji. Emu 79: 7–18. 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. WATLING, D. in litt. 2005
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2013) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Rairaimatuku Highlands. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 22/05/2013
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