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Location Fiji, Lomaiviti
Central coordinates 179o 19.00' East  18o 1.00' South
IBA criteria A1, A2, A4ii
Area 5,200 ha
Altitude 300 - 738m
Year of IBA assessment 2006

NatureFiji- MareqetiViti (Affiliate)



Site description Gau is the only known breeding site of the Fiji Petrel (CR). The exact nesting areas are unknown but presumed to be in the forested hills and mountains of the island interior. This same area also has the largest known population of Collared Petrels (NT) and a number of endemic forest species.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Fiji Petrel Pseudobulweria macgillivrayi breeding  2005  1 individuals  poor  A1, A4ii  Critically Endangered 
Collared Petrel Pterodroma brevipes breeding  1984  165 individuals  poor  A1, A4ii  Vulnerable 
Tahiti Petrel Pseudobulweria rostrata breeding  2005  unknown  A1  Near Threatened 
Fiji Goshawk Accipiter rufitorques resident  2005  frequent  A2  Least Concern 
Shy Ground-dove Alopecoenas stairi resident  2005  rare  A1, A2  Vulnerable 
Many-coloured Fruit-dove Ptilinopus perousii resident  2005  uncommon  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  rare  A2  Least Concern 
Maroon Shining-parrot Prosopeia tabuensis resident  2005  common  A1, A2  Least Concern 
Orange-breasted Myzomela Myzomela jugularis resident  2005  abundant  A2  Least Concern 
Fiji Woodswallow Artamus mentalis resident  2005  common  A2  Least Concern 
Fiji Shrikebill Clytorhynchus vitiensis resident  2005  common  A2  Least Concern 
Vanikoro Flycatcher Myiagra vanikorensis resident  2005  abundant  A2  Least Concern 
Layard's White-eye Zosterops explorator resident  2005  common  A2  Least Concern 
Polynesian Starling Aplonis tabuensis resident  2005  common  A2  Least Concern 

Habitats

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

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
other minor
Notes: Telecom repeater tower (and access track)

Other biodiversity Gau is free of mongoose and supports good numbers of amphibians and reptiles including the Fijian Ground Frog (EN) and Banded Iguana (EN). Preliminary studies suggest that it has high numbers of endemic plants.

Protection status Unprotected. Site of National Significance.

References BIRDLIFE INTERNATIONAL (2005) Fiji Programme IBA project field reports Nos 37 and 38. Unpublished reports. PLANT, A. R., QALO, K. M., VERERUSA, K. AND WATLING, D. (1989) A Tahiti Petrel (Pseudobulweria rostrata) from Gau Island, Fiji. Notornis 36:149–150. PRIDDEL, D., CARLILE, N. AND WATLING, D. (2003) Recovery Plan for the Critically Endangered Fiji Petrel Pseudobulweria macgillivrayi. Suva: Environmental Consultants (Fiji) Ltd. Unpublished report. TUIWAWA, M. in litt. 2005 WATLING, D. AND LEWANAVANUA, R. F. (1985) A note to record the continuing survival of the Fiji (MacGillivray’s) Petrel Pseudobulweria macgillivrayi. Ibis 127: 230–233.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Gau Highlands. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 26/07/2014

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