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Location New Caledonia (to France)
Central coordinates 165o 4.00' East  20o 49.80' South
IBA criteria A1, A2
Area 36,509 ha
Altitude 2 - 1,091m
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Société Calédonienne d'Ornithologie (Affiliate)



Site description The Massif des Levres is located on the east coast, at Touho. It is a Massif that is difficult to access. It rises to 1,091 m with Katalupaïk and extends east along a ridge through the Tonine and ending twenty kilometers further east, on the Pwöbwacèn (809 m). The perimeter of the the IBA is a little behind the coastline to the north, and generally follows the Tipindjé River to the west and Tiwaka River to the south and east. The massive Tchingou (Higo) is not part of the IBA. This is one of the largest forests of the Northern Province, moreover, generally in good condition. It is a dense evergreen forest at low and medium altitude with high canopy, on average, ten meters sometimes reaches 15 meters. Its undergrowth is moderately dense. There are still some intact upland forests along the ridges and at the peaks. At its eastern end, the IBA is covered with an edaphic scrubland.

Key Biodiversity The Massif des Levres is home to 37 terrestrial species. Despite a large number of listening points in the IBA (123), no seabirds/marine life has been recorded as potentially breeding within the massif. 23 bird species with restricted distribution have been recorded within the IBA. There are 16 of the 19 endemic species visible on the mainland and 17 endemic subspecies in New Caledonia. The number of individuals contacted by listening point average is quite high at 27.9 individuals per point, while all endemic species have a higher occurrence at this site than the average for New Caledonia IBAs. The IBA is still home to the Cagou. An individual recorded on the south side of Tonina is the northernmost observation of this species in recent years. Another bird was heard to the east but mostly G. Hunt stated in 1992 that this was the region of the Northern Province where the species was most abundant - a statement that did not seem to be the case in surveys of all species during the IBA surveys of 2004-2005. We remain still cautious considering that these surveys were not intended to exhaustive inventory of populations Cagou and it emerges that the IBA survey approach is likely to undererestimate the numbers of the species. The Horned Parakeet was contacted on a third of the point counts performed on the whole massif. This places the IBA at the forefront for this species. The other species belonging to the endemic genus, the Cloven-feathered Dove (Drepanoptila holosericea) is also well represented. This IBA is also characterized by the strong presence (a third of the point counts) of the New Caledonian Cuckooshrike (Coracina analis) a mountain endemic recently defined as Near-Threatened.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
White-bellied Goshawk Accipiter haplochrous resident  2003-2005  present  A2  Near Threatened 
Kagu Rhynochetos jubatus resident  2003-2005  present  A1, A2  Endangered 
Cloven-feathered Dove Drepanoptila holosericea resident  2003-2005  present  A2  Near Threatened 
New Caledonian Imperial-pigeon Ducula goliath resident  2003-2005  present  A2  Near Threatened 
Horned Parakeet Eunymphicus cornutus resident  2003-2005  present  A1, A2  Vulnerable 
New Caledonian Friarbird Philemon diemenensis resident  2003-2005  present  A2  Least Concern 
Dark-brown Honeyeater Lichmera incana resident  2003-2005  present  A2  Least Concern 
Barred Honeyeater Phylidonyris undulatus resident  2003-2005  present  A2  Least Concern 
New Caledonian Myzomela Myzomela caledonica resident  2003-2005  present  A2  Least Concern 
Fan-tailed Gerygone Gerygone flavolateralis resident  2003-2005  present  A2  Least Concern 
Melanesian Cuckooshrike Coracina caledonica resident  2003-2005  present  A2  Least Concern 
New Caledonian Cuckooshrike Coracina analis resident  2003-2005  present  A2  Near Threatened 
Long-tailed Triller Lalage leucopyga resident  2003-2005  present  A2  Least Concern 
New Caledonian Whistler Pachycephala caledonica resident  2003-2005  present  A2  Least Concern 
Streaked Fantail Rhipidura verreauxi resident  2003-2005  present  A2  Least Concern 
Southern Shrikebill Clytorhynchus pachycephaloides resident  2003-2005  present  A2  Least Concern 
Melanesian Flycatcher Myiagra caledonica resident  2003-2005  present  A2  Least Concern 
New Caledonian Crow Corvus moneduloides resident  2003-2005  present  A2  Least Concern 
Yellow-bellied Robin Eopsaltria flaviventris resident  2003-2005  present  A2  Least Concern 
New Caledonian Grassbird Megalurulus mariei resident  2003-2005  present  A2  Least Concern 
Green-backed White-eye Zosterops xanthochroa resident  2003-2005  present  A2  Least Concern 
Striated Starling Aplonis striata resident  2003-2005  present  A2  Least Concern 
Red-throated Parrotfinch Erythrura psittacea resident  2003-2005  present  A2  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2013 high unfavourable low
Population
Poor - based on little, or potentially unreliable/unrepresentative, data

Rhynochetos jubatus Kagu 100 50 unknown 50 unfavourable

Little/none of site covered (<10%)  A management plan exists but it is out of date or not comprehensive  Some limited conservation initiatives are in place  low 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Lagoons of New Caledonia: Reef Diversity and Associated Ecosystems World Heritage Site 1,574,313 protected area is adjacent to site 0  

References Chartendrault & Barré 2005a; Hunt 1992

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Massif des Lèvres. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 28/11/2014

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