email a friend
printable version
Location Fiji, Kadavu
Central coordinates 177o 59.00' East  19o 7.00' South
IBA criteria A1, A2, A4ii
Area 2,900 ha
Altitude 0 - 805m
Year of IBA assessment 2012

NatureFiji- MareqetiViti (Affiliate)

Summary This site includes the highest mountain on Kadavu (Nabukelevu, 805m asl) and the largest area of montane forest in west Kadavu.  All four bird species endemic to Kadavu are present, and it may still support nesting colonies of Collared Petrels and other seabirds. 

Site description Nabukelevu is a spectacular isolated mountain rising steeply from the sea in west Kadavu. Its name is said to mean ‘giant yam mound’, an accurate description of this steep-sided massif. It is an andesitic volcanic lava dome which last erupted in the Holocene. The mountain is usually shrouded in cloud and receives a high level of rainfall. 

Key Biodiversity Nabukelevu is the only known nesting site in Fiji for the Polynesian Storm-petrel (dates from 1876)  and one of a handful of sites for the Collared Petrel (small numbers have been recorded overhead during Collared Petrel surveys, but there are no known active nesting burrows). It supports all the four species and eight subspecies endemic to Kadavu, including good numbers of Kadavu Honeyeaters and probably the largest population of the montane Island Thrush subspecies T. p. ruficeps. Current breeding colonies of seabirds on the headland west of Davigele and other rocky headlands are thought to be Wedge-tailed Shearwaters . Two other globally threatened species that occur on Kadavu, Friendly Ground-dove  and Black-faced Shrikebill, are likely to be present in small numbers in old-growth forest at lower altitudes. 

Non-bird biodiversity: Nabukelevu is believed to support several species of plants endemic to the mountain itself as the high montane plateau is unique within Kadavu. Its herpetofauna and other biodiversity are poorly known.  The moth Speiredonia strigiformis was found on the peak in April 2011 as part of recent surveys for Collared Petrel.  This is the first record for this spectacular species, endemic to Fiji and not recorded anywhere since the 1980s, on Kadavu.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Collared Petrel Pterodroma brevipes breeding  2011  9-30 individuals  medium  A1, A4ii  Vulnerable 
Fiji Goshawk Accipiter rufitorques resident  2005  rare  A2  Least Concern 
Whistling Dove Chrysoena viridis resident  2005  frequent  A1, A2  Near Threatened 
Barking Imperial-pigeon Ducula latrans resident  2005  common  A2  Least Concern 
Collared Lory Phigys solitarius resident  2005  common  A2  Least Concern 
Crimson Shining-parrot Prosopeia splendens resident  2005  common  A1, A2  Vulnerable 
Kadavu Honeyeater Xanthotis provocator resident  2005  abundant  A2  Least Concern 
Orange-breasted Myzomela Myzomela jugularis resident  2005  abundant  A2  Least Concern 
Polynesian Triller Lalage maculosa resident  2005  uncommon  A2  Least Concern 
Kadavu Fantail Rhipidura personata resident  2005  common  A1, A2  Near Threatened 
Slaty Monarch Mayrornis lessoni resident  2005  common  A2  Least Concern 
Fiji Shrikebill Clytorhynchus vitiensis resident  2005  uncommon  A2  Least Concern 
Vanikoro Flycatcher Myiagra vanikorensis resident  2005  frequent  A2  Least Concern 
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 

IBA Monitoring

2010 medium unfavourable low
Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data

Agriculture and aquaculture annual & perennial non-timber crops - small-holder farming happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium

Forest   0 0 moderate (70-90%) moderate (70-90%) unfavourable

Little/none of site covered (<10%)  A comprehensive and appropriate management plan exists that aims to maintain or improve the populations of qualifying bird species  Substantive conservation measures are being implemented but these are not comprehensive and are limited by resources and capacity  low 

Local conservation groups The local conservation group below is working to support conservation at this IBA.

Name Year formed
Nabukelevu Conservation Commiittee 2007


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest   major

Land ownership  Nabukelevu is under traditional ownership of local people. Daviqele, the chief village of the Nabukelevu Tikina, owns the south slope, Nabukilevuira owns the west side, and Lomati owns the north-eastern side and the summit, including the only trail to the top.

Land use

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

Protection status Unprotected. Site of National Significance.  

References BIRDLIFE INTERNATIONAL (2004) Fiji Programme IBA project field report No. 29. Unpublished report. CORREIA (1924) Whitney South Sea expedition diary N: 180 (in American Museum of Natural History).Unpublished. CORREIA (1925) Whitney South Sea expedition diary O: 1 (in American Museum of Natural History).Unpublished. FINSCH, O. (1877) On a new species of petrel from the Feejee islands. Proceedings of the London Zoological Society 722. Jenkins, J. A. F. (1986) The seabirds of Fiji. Australasian Seabird Group Newsletter 25:1–70. WRIGHT, S. AND CABANIUK, S. (1996) Towards an Integrated Environmental Conservation and Tourism Development Plan for Kadavu Province. Suva: Native Lands Trust Board. Unpublished Report.

Contribute  Please click here to help BirdLife conserve the world's birds - your data for this IBA and others are vital for helping protect the environment.

Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Nabukelevu. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife