|Location||Fiji, Viti Levu|
|Central coordinates||178o 12.00' East 17o 55.00' South|
|IBA criteria||A1, A2|
|Altitude||80 - 1,185m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2006|
Summary Sovi Basin is the largest (proposed) protected area in Fiji. It is a large, uninhabited, basin with a pristine watershed of lowland rainforest. It supports populations of most of Viti Levu’s birds including Long-legged Warbler and relatively large numbers of Pink-billed Parrotfinches.
Site description Sovi Basin is a large basin or amphitheatre of low rolling hills ringed by steep volcanic peaks rising to 1,185 m. The hills in the western third of the basin are mostly between 300 m and 600 m, otherwise between 80 m and 300 m and drain through a narrow gorge to the east. The basin is composed of plutonic granite surrounded by andesite volcanics while the basin soils are infertile red-yellow podzols. Rainfall has been estimated at over 2,800 mm in the wet season (November–April) and 1,200—1,600 mm in the dry season, and lowland temperatures average 25°C.
Key Biodiversity As the largest (proposed) protected area in Fiji, it supports the largest protected populations of many of Fiji’s restricted-range species. Further survey work is necessary to clarify the status of the Long-legged Warbler and of the 'missing' species, Red-throated Lorikeet. The nationally threatened Peregrine Falcon is often reported and is likely to breed. A1 Globally threatened species * Long-legged Warbler (EN) – three sightings (29–31 March 2005) * Friendly Ground-dove (VU) – uncommon * Black-faced Shrikebill (VU) – uncommon * Pink-billed Parrotfinch (VU) – generally rare but locally uncommon * Masked Shining Parrot (NT) – fairly common A2 Restricted-range species 24 species (out of 25 on Viti Levu), including all three endemic to Viti Levu.
Non-bird biodiversity: The endemic Fijian Burrowing Snake (VU) is known historically from Sovi and several other endemic reptiles occur including Green Tree Skink and Fijian Copper-headed Skink. The Fijian Tree Frog (NT) also occurs. Recent PABITRA surveys suggest that the basin supports about 680 species of vascular plants, one third of Fiji’s total. This includes large numbers of Schefflera euthytrica (DD) in a very rare lowland rainforest formation on plains around creeks dominated by Verbenaceae trees.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Fiji Goshawk Accipiter rufitorques||resident||2005||rare||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Shy Ground-dove Alopecoenas stairi||resident||2005||uncommon||-||A1, A2||Vulnerable|
|Many-coloured Fruit-dove Ptilinopus perousii||resident||2005||rare||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Golden Dove Chrysoena luteovirens||resident||2005||common||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Barking Imperial-pigeon Ducula latrans||resident||2005||common||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Collared Lory Phigys solitarius||resident||2005||frequent||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Masked Shining-parrot Prosopeia personata||resident||2005||common||-||A1, A2||Near Threatened|
|Wattled Honeyeater Foulehaio carunculatus||resident||2005||common||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Giant Honeyeater Gymnomyza viridis||resident||2005||abundant||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Orange-breasted Myzomela Myzomela jugularis||resident||2005||common||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Fiji Woodswallow Artamus mentalis||resident||2005||uncommon||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Polynesian Triller Lalage maculosa||resident||2005||common||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Streaked Fantail Rhipidura verreauxi||resident||2005||common||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Slaty Monarch Mayrornis lessoni||resident||2005||common||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Fiji Shrikebill Clytorhynchus vitiensis||resident||2005||frequent||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Clytorhynchus nigrogularis||resident||2005||uncommon||-||A1, A2||Not Recognised|
|Vanikoro Flycatcher Myiagra vanikorensis||resident||2005||frequent||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Blue-crested Flycatcher Myiagra azureocapilla||resident||2005||common||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Long-legged Thicketbird Trichocichla rufa||resident||2005||3 individuals||poor||A1, A2||Endangered|
|Fiji Bush-warbler Cettia ruficapilla||resident||2005||abundant||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Layard's White-eye Zosterops explorator||resident||2005||abundant||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Polynesian Starling Aplonis tabuensis||resident||2005||frequent||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Fiji Parrotfinch Erythrura pealii||resident||2005||frequent||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Pink-billed Parrotfinch Erythrura kleinschmidti||resident||2005||uncommon||-||A1, A2||Vulnerable|
|Poor - based on little, or potentially unreliable/unrepresentative, data|
|Biological resource use||logging & wood harvesting - unintentional effects: large scale||past (and unlikely to return) and no longer limiting||some of area/population (10-49%)||slow but significant deterioration||low|
|Invasive & other problematic species, genes & diseases||invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - named species||happening now||majority/most of area/population (50-90%)||no or imperceptible deterioration||low|
|Little/none of site covered (<10%)||Unknown||Some limited conservation initiatives are in place||negligible|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Sovi Basin||National Park||19,260||protected area contained by site||19,260|
|Sovi Basin Conservation Area||Other Area||19,620||protected area contained by site||19,620|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
Land ownership Sovi Basin is under traditional ownership of 13 mataqali, belonging to the three Tikina; Waimaro (97%), Nadaravakawalu and Namosi. As well as these Native Lands, there are eight small Crown Lands (totalling about 1,306 ha) and two Freehold Lands (80 ha). The basin was inhabited a few generations ago but abandoned because of poor soils and accessibility into the basin. Sovi is only 35 km from the capital, Suva.
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||-|
Protection status Proposed conservation area. Site of National Significance.
References BIRDLIFE INTERNATIONAL (2003) Fiji Programme IBA project field reports Nos 6, 7, 10, 14 and 32. CABANIUK, S., LEES, A. AND WRIGHT, S. (1995) A Future for the Sovi Basin, Waimaro – Integrating Conservation and Development. Final Report. Suva: Native Lands Trust Board. USP (2003) PABITRA Survey Report – Sovi Basin May 2003. Suva: University of the South Pacific. Unpublished report. USP (2004) PABITRA Survey Report – Sovi Basin October 2004. Suva: University of the South Pacific. Unpublished report.
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2015) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Sovi Basin. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 04/07/2015
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