- Identifying sites of global biodiversity conservation for the Fiji BSAP. Click here.
- Saving Fiji’s forest hotspots. Click here.
Creating community-based conservation groups at Fiji’s key conservation sites. Click here
- Sustainable management of sites globally important for biodiversity in the Pacific. Click here.
- Protecting the internationally important seabird colony of Vatu-i-Ra Island, Fiji. Click here.
- Locating important seabird colonies (Important Bird Areas) in French Polynesia and Fiji. Click here.
- Restoration of globally important seabird colonies in the Pacific by the removal of rats and other invasive predators. Click here.
Identifying sites of global biodiversity conservation for the Fiji BSAP back to top
Funded by the UK Government Darwin Initiative (project ref: 11/022)This three-year project (2002-2005) had several key objectives including:
Researching and Identifying Important Bird Areas
Assisting the technical training of Fijian conservationists in terrestrial conservation
Increasing awareness of conservation and sustainable development across all sectors of society
The raising of resources for the sustainable management of IBAs
The project successfully achieved all four objectives, with 14 sites of global importance for birds being identified through extensive field work and published in the directory Important Bird Areas (IBAs) in Fiji: Conserving Fiji’s Natural Heritage. Click for BirdLife news and IBA flyer.
The work greatly en
Some of the new information on Fiji’s threatened birds is good news; some threatened species are more widespread than was previously thought, apparently having been overlooked in the past. The Pink-billed Parrotfinch Erythrura kleinschmidti, rarely seen in the years preceding this project and accordingly classified as Endangered, now appears to be widespread at low densities widely across Viti Levu and is now classified as Vulnerable. Similarly, the threat status of the Long-legged Warbler has also been revised after being rediscovered at several more sites after the initial record at Wabu and it has been moved from being classed as Data Deficient to Endangered (EN).
However, it is not all good news for bird conservation in Fiji; the Critically Endangered Red-throated Lorikeet was not observed during the project, a further indication the species remains perilously close to extinction in the remaining extensive tracts of forest on Viti Levu.
The challenges to conserving Fiji’s forest resources remain significant as Fiji has already lost the majority of its forest resources due to logging, urban and agricultural encroachment and invasive alien species posing the greatest threats to these forests. Poor logging practices have caused land degradation and also increase access of invasive alien plants and animals.
With Fiji’s IBAs being identified, the challenge is to turn research in to action which has recently been undertaken with further support from the Darwin Initiative. A project titled Community-Based Conservation Groups at Fiji’s Key Conservation Sites was implemented between 2006 and 2009 and built the capacity of Fijian conservation professionals to conserve forest resources through the establishment of protected areas, management planning processes and monitoring frameworks. These conservation professionals then trained community members in the management of their own forest resources.
For more details, please contact Miliana Ravuso at firstname.lastname@example.org
Saving Fiji’s forest hotspots back to top
Funded by the Australian Government Regional Natural Heritage Programme (Ref nr 05/034)
This community-based forest conservation project ran from July 2005 – June 2006 and was developed to enhance the conservation status of four of Fiji’s highest priority Important Bird Areas.
The overall project purpose was to establish initial community-based protected areas at two unprotected sites (the Natewa / Tunuloa Peninsular FJ03 and Viti Levu Southern Highlands FJ10) and to develop initial management plans for a further two sites that had existing protected areas (Wabu / Tomaniivi FJ07 and Taveuni FJ04). The main proponents were the BirdLife International Fiji Programme and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) in partnership with the Fiji Department of Forestry, South Pacific Environmental Programme (SPREP) and Environmental Consultants Fiji.
The project staff received extensive training in technical and social methods and subsequently undertook field-based research and community consultation at all four sites. Regardless of the short duration of the project, there was considerable success in achieving the results. Notable successes included:
Extensive biodiversity surveys that resulted in the cataloguing and collection of numerous insect and invertebrate species including several species believed to be new to science which are still awaiting formal identification.
The establishment of community declarations of protected areas covering c.3000ha of forest on the Natewa Peninsular and WCS staff worked with communities to protect a similarly large area in the Viti Levu Southern Highlands.
The production of two draft management plans for Tomaniivi and Taveuni reserves.
The project was completed in 2006, and provided a strong basis for subsequent work. BirdLife International is continuing to work with communities from the Natewa Peninsular and WCS is working with communities on Viti Levu to develop more formal protected areas and associated sustainable livelihoods.
For more details, please contact Miliana Ravuso at email@example.com
Creating community-based conservation groups at Fiji’s key conservation sites back to top
Funded by the UK Government Darwin Initiative ref: 162/15/019
The overall purpose of this project (2006-2009) was to build the capacity of Fijian conservation professionals to conserve forest resources through the establishment of protected areas, management planning processes and monitoring frameworks. There were four target sites of the project:
The Natewa / Tunuloa Peninsula on Vanua Levu, which has lowland forest and, together with the island of Taveuni, supports the only populations of the charismatic Orange Dove and Silktail. The area is under particular threat from logging;
Nabukulevu and Kadavu East on the island of Kadavu support four bird species and several subspecies endemic to Kadavu; they are threatened by agricultural encroachment and invasive alien species; and
Taveuni, the only formally protected area, which is under looming threat from agricultural encroachment and invasive alien species.
The project has led to the establishment of two self-declared Community-Based Protected Areas (CBPAs) in Fiji, covering almost 7,000 ha of forest on Natewa/Tunuloa and Nabukelevu Important Bird Areas. Representatives of the landowning clans (‘mataqali’) have signed an MOU with BirdLife for the protection of their forests for 10 and 5 years respectively. Community plans were developed at both sites specifying activities for managing the PAs. Additionally, a management plan for the a third IBA (in Taveuni) was produced, spearheaded by Nature Fiji-MareqetiViti and the National Trust of Fiji during an extensive consultative process. An IBA monitoring baseline was established and captured on the BirdLife World Bird Database for all Fijian IBAs and extensive training was provided.
The project has influenced communities in Fiji to develop and manage their own CBPAs and in doing so, created integrated models of protecting biodiversity and supporting local livelihoods, working with Local Conservation Groups at terrestrial (forest) sites. This initiative is unique for Fiji because it is not developing a (logging) lease- or income-foregone compensation scheme for a PA, but develops true partnerships with forest-owners based on their historical and cultural ties with their land. The models are built on Fijian landownership and socio-cultural structures and the process applied is highly ‘Pacific’ in its approach, which makes it both widely applicable in the region and at the same time flexible in its ability to provide unique solutions to unique (local) situations.
A follow-up project funded by the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund is currently being implemented at Natewa and Nabukelevu IBAs. Click here for more information.
For further information contact Miliana Ravuso firstname.lastname@example.org
Sustainable management of sites globally important for biodiversity in the Pacific back to top
Funded by the European Commission (ref nr: ENV/RPA/02/0648/TF)
This four year project, completed in March 2008, is a milestone for conservation on Pacific Islands. The overall purpose of the project was to research areas of international importance for biodiversity on Pacific Islands using birds as biodiversity indicators and then to document and disseminate these Important Bird Areas (IBAs). Birds are particularly useful as bio-indicators as they are sensitive to environmental change but that the same time are relatively easy to monitor, this provide a valuable index of key areas for biodiversity.
The project was implemented by Société Calédonienne d’Ornithologie (SCO) in New Caledonia, Société d'Ornithologie de Polynésie (SOP Manu) in French Polynesia, Palau Conservation Society (PCS) in Palau and by the Birdlife International Fiji Programme in Fiji. The Partners and the Fiji Programme undertook extensive field research in these four countries and national IBA inventories have been published (or are being published) in all four countries. In addition, experts have undertaken desk-based studies and compiled IBA inventories for a further 13 Pacific Island Countries or Territories (PICTs): the Commonwealth of the North Mariana Islands, Guam, Kiribati, Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Wallis and Futuna, Tonga, Niue, Nauru, Tuvalu and a review of the Pitcairn Island group was undertaken by the RSPB (the BirdLife Partner in the UK). This represents the most comprehensive set of terrestrial biodiversity priority sites for the Pacific Region, which can be used to guide conservation action.
The success of the project extends beyond the technical aspects identifying and disseminating information on biodiversity priorities. An important outcome of the project has been to raise awareness and build capacity at a national and regional level for the sustainable management of globally important sites for biodiversity. The Birdlife Partners who have implemented the project have forged strong national partnerships with other NGOs and government agencies and developed conservation programmes focused on scientifically set priorities. The vast majority of the IBAs identified are under community ownership, either legally or customary ownership and the establishment of Site Support Groups (SSGs) will be critical to enhancing the impact of the project by empowering communities to manage their own natural resources in a sustainable manner.
Key outputs of the project include:
High-quality inventories documenting 8 IBAs in Palau, 14 in Fiji, 32 in New Caledonia and 32 French Polynesia
Desk-based reviews for 13 Pacific Island Countries and Territories
High quality data on endangered bird species which is being used to review the status of critical species
Strengthened capacity of Birdlife Partners and national partnerships with NGOs and Government Departments to implement site-based conservation
The establishment of community-based conservation programmes promoting sustainable management of natural resources
For more details, please contact Don Stewart at email@example.com
Protecting the internationally important seabird colony of Vatu-i-Ra Island back to top
Funded by the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund and the Australian Government Regional Natural Heritage Programme (RNHP), and implemented in collaboration with NatureFiji-MareqetiViti and with technical assistance from the Pacific Invasives Initiative, the Pacific Invasives Learning Network, and the New Zealand Department of Conservation.
Vatu-i-Ra is a small island in Fiji, and an IBA supporting more than 10,000 pairs of breeding seabirds of six species. The community that owns the island was keen to protect its resource and to develop low-impact tourist visits there. However, a very high population of rats was an immediate threat because rats predate eggs and chicks of seabirds and are responsible for the destruction of countless seabird colonies.
This project was aimed to remove the rats from Vatu-i-Ra island, establish biosecurity controls to prevent re-invasion, and to train community members in rat eradication, seabird identification, and methods for preventing the re-establishment of rats and other introduced species. The project was carried out in 2006/2007 and in 2008, eighteen months after the actual eradication exercise, the island has been declared rat free. Quarantine measures to prevent an accidental reintroduction of rats or other invasive species have been adopted by the island landowners and are being promoted among other communities associated with the island. The lessons learned through this highly successful project were used in a larger Pacific project funded by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.
For more information, please contact Elenoa Seniloli at firstname.lastname@example.org
Locating important seabird colonies (Important Bird Areas) in French Polynesia and Fiji back to top
Funded by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation
Centuries of over-exploitation and the impacts of introduced predators have destroyed most seabird colonies in the Pacific. The main obstacle to working with island communities and government agencies to promote protection and sustainable use of seabird islands is the chronic lack of up to date and accurate data on seabird distributions, especially of breeding colonies on islands.
This project has addressed significant knowledge gaps associated with the location and status of seabird breeding areas. A literature review and information obtained through ornithological accounts identified 64 seabird islands in Fiji: of these 21 were considered as potentially hosting globally important populations as were a further 23 in French Polynesia. In total, surveys confirmed 36 islands or island groups to have seabird populations that meet BirdLife International Important Bird Area (IBA) criteria. Surveys also provided the opportunity to collect baseline data on seabird colonies and the presence of introduced mammalian predators. Collectively this information provides the first comprehensive inventory of the location, status and threats to seabird islands and will inform management needs and priorities for seabird conservation in French Polynesia and Fiji.
Restoration of globally important seabird colonies in the Pacific by the removal of rats and other invasive predators back to top
Funded by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and in collaboration with the Pacific Invasives Initiative, the Pacific Invasives Learning Network, the Pacific Seabird Group, the New Zealand Department of Conservation and the Government of Fiji.
The overriding factor that has driven the extirpation of seabird colonies and, in many cases, the extinction of entire bird species in the Pacific is the introduction of alien invasive predators. Three species of rat that have severe impacts on breeding seabirds have been introduced across the Pacific. Their effects are being amplified in the presence of other exotic animals; feral cats that prey on adults seabirds and chicks, pigs that dig up burrow-nesting petrels, as well as goats and rabbits that destroy native vegetation, eggs and burrows. These alien species are contributing to the demise of seabird colonies throughout the Pacific.
This project was initiated in December 2006 and completed in March 2009. The project was managed by BirdLife International through its Pacific Partnership Secretariat in Suva, Fiji, and implemented by the following in-country NGO Partners: in French Polynesia Société d'Ornithologie de Polynésie MANU (SOP-MANU), in New Caledonia Société Calédonienne d’Ornithologie (SCO), in Palau Palau Conservation Society (PCS), and in Fiji the BirdLife International Fiji Programme.
During the course of the project, operations to eradicate rats have been successfully implemented on 13 internationally and 3 nationally important seabird islands. The completion of these 16 operations represents a significant achievement for the BirdLife Pacific Partnership and an important contribution to seabird and biodiversity conservation in the region. Collectively these operations have cr eated 306ha of predator-free island habitat, protecting breeding colonies for 17 species of seabird and many other native life-forms including uncommon and threatened landbirds, reptiles, invertebrates, and plants.
In achieving this, 60 islands and islets in the four countries have been surveyed for their seabird populations and the presence of invasive predators, which has led to the production of feasibility plans for 42 of them. This provides a sound basis for future restoration planning and priority setting in the region. The project also developed the capacity of 14 NGO staff members who have been trained through formal training programmes, on-the-job support, partner project staff interchange and technical advice provided by various national and international experts. This has not only enabled them to successfully implement a priority suite of eradications but similarly identify future seabird island restoration needs. The project has also created new networks and partnerships for further skills sharing.
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