|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|
Ornithological information 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.
Site description Sovi Basin is the largest (proposed) protected area in Fiji. It is unique in the Pacific islands in being 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 (EN) and relatively large numbers of Pink-billed Parrotfinches (VU).
|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||rare [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Golden Dove Ptilinopus luteovirens||resident||2005||common [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Peale's Imperial-pigeon Ducula latrans||resident||2005||common [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Collared Lory Phigys solitarius||resident||2005||frequent [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Masked Shining-parrot Prosopeia personata||resident||2005||common [units unknown]||-||A1, A2||Near Threatened|
|Wattled Honeyeater Foulehaio carunculatus||resident||2005||common [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Giant Honeyeater Gymnomyza viridis||resident||2005||abundant [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Orange-breasted Myzomela Myzomela jugularis||resident||2005||common [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Fiji Woodswallow Artamus mentalis||resident||2005||uncommon [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Polynesian Triller Lalage maculosa||resident||2005||common [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Streaked Fantail Rhipidura verreauxi||resident||2005||common [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Slaty Monarch Mayrornis lessoni||resident||2005||common [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||frequent [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Blue-crested Flycatcher Myiagra azureocapilla||resident||2005||common [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Long-legged Thicketbird Trichocichla rufa||resident||2005||3 individuals||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||frequent [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Fiji Parrotfinch Erythrura pealii||resident||2005||frequent [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Pink-billed Parrotfinch Erythrura kleinschmidti||resident||2005||uncommon [units unknown]||-||A1, A2||Vulnerable|
|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-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||-|
Other 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.
Management considerations Invasive alien species - Logging - Agriculture
Protection status Proposed conservation area. Site of National Significance.
Conservation response Sovi Basin has been the subject of ongoing action to secure agreement for conservation instead of logging. By 2005, all the land-owners had signed up to cancelling the logging concession and were negotiating a compensatory conservation trust fund, largely from the Global Conservation Fund. This project has been lead by Conservation International in collaboration with other institutions, notably the National Trust of Fiji. Assuming the success of these negotiations, the forests of Sovi look set to be conserved as the largest protected area in Fiji. The trust fund will resource some conservation actions, the most important being an assessment of the impact of invasive alien species. Sovi has fewer invasive alien species than most sites because it is a large block of forest without roads but it has most of the harmful species on Viti Levu, notably mongoose and Black Rat. Sovi would be an ideal place to conduct research on the impact of these species and to undertake trial actions to control them.
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 (2013) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Sovi Basin. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 22/05/2013
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