- Supporting community-driven protected area establishment in Fiji. Click here
- Conserving Mount Nabukelevu in Fiji. Click here.
- Kids for Kadavu. Click here.
- Creating Permanent Forest Estates for the benefit of Fiji's people and biodiversity. Click here.
- Helping to establish effective Marine Protected Areas around the world. Click here.
- Identifying IBAs on the Cook Islands. Click here.
- Restoration of priority Pacific island ecosystems for people and biodiversity. Click here
- Restoration of important Pacific seabird islands. Click here
- Saving the endangered parrots of the Pacific. Click here.
- The Preventing Extinctions Programme in the Pacific. Click here
Supporting community-driven protected area establishment in Fiji: "Fijians for Fijian Forests" back to top
Funded by the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund
This project will implement conservation and sustainable livelihoods initiatives at two priority Important Bird Areas (IBAs) in Fiji: Mt Nabukelevu on Kadavu and the Natewa Tunuloa perninsula.
The island of Kadavu has the highest number of endemic birds per land area in the world and actually hosts two IBAs, including Mt Nabukelevu whose montane forest is of critical importance for five globally threatened bird species. The Natewa IBA provides forest habitat to two globally threatened bird species including the locally endemic subspecies of Silktail. Both IBAs are included in the 60 Priority Sites for Site-Level Investment by CEPF in the Polynesia-Micronesia EP, and both are Sites of National Significance as identified in the Fiji National Environment Strategy. However, neither site is formally protected and both are under serious threat from, most critically, agricultural encroachment (Nabukelevu) and logging (Natewa).
BirdLife has initiated conservation activities (funded by the UK Darwin Initiative - click here) at both IBAs, working with their local communities to identify problems, define potential solutions and develop appropriate skills. This has led to the establishment of two local conservation groups, known as Site Support Groups (SSGs), comprising representatives of land-owning mataqalis who wish to sustainably manage/conserve their natural (forest) resources.
In Nabukelevu this group is still very young (established in 2007) but eager and committed to establish a community-based protected area at their IBA. The total land area to be reserved at 300m elevation is approximately 350ha. A small grant recently obtained from the GEF Small Grants Programme will allow reforestation down to 250m or even 200m elevation which will increase the forested and the to-be-protected land area significantly.
In Natewa, the SSG has existed since 2005 and consists of forest-owning mataqalis (land-owning family clans) who have declined offers by timber companies to sell their forests for logging purposes and decided to work together with BirdLife to protect their forest instead. The Natewa peninsula has been under a logging concession and the majority of the forest has been signed over to logging leases; these forest blocks represent the last stands of forest not at immediate risk of being logged. Early 2009 a workshop was held in Navetau Village on the Natewa peninsula, attended by over 30 local people, during which 11 mataqali agreed to sustainably manage over 6000ha of land for ten years.
Locally-driven, sustainable resource management plans for both sites, including options for formal recognition as protected areas (based on an in-depth legislation review carried out in 2007), have been produced. These plans include seeking opportunities for sustainable, forest-based income generation which is becoming increasingly urgent to show the benefits of protecting the forests. This project will sustain the progress made by the communities involved so far to conserve their forests, and will also work as a feasible model for other mataqalis to follow. Many forest-owning mataqalis are still under severe pressure (both from within and from outside their communities) to convert their forests into agricultural land (Nabukelevu) or to sell their forests for ‘quick bucks’ to logging companies (Natewa).
The project will work with the SSGs at these two IBAs/KBAs, and will build on their enthusiasm and drive to protect their own forests. It aims to make significant progress towards formal recognition of the Community-Based Protected Areas; to improve the conservation status and knowledge of the two IBAs/KBAs; and to strengthen the Site Support Groups to become sustainable Community-Based Organisations. The project will also collect information and lessons learned and share these with other mataqalis at key forest sites, with other SSGs in Fiji and with conservation NGOs in Fiji and the Pacific.
For further information contact Miliana Ravuso firstname.lastname@example.org
Conserving Mount Nabukelevu in Fiji back to top
Funded by the GEF Small Grants Programme in Fiji
This project aims to conserve Fiji’s Mt. Nabukelevu with its unique forest biodiversity. It is a spectacular isolated mountain rising steeply right from the sea to more than 800 meters. The area is of international biodiversity interest and was designated as an IBA in 2005 because it supports globally significant populations of four bird species endemic to Kadavu, including the Globally Threatened Kadavu Shining Parrot; because it is the only known nesting site of the Polynesian Storm-petrel in Fiji; and it is one of a handful of sites critical for the survival of the Collared Petrel. In addition, Nabukulevu supports eight subspecies of birds that are endemic to Kadavu. The site is believed to be of high biodiversity importance for other species as well, but this has not yet been extensively researched by biologists. It is also a vital source of natural resources for the surrounding villages. Unsustainable agricultural practices resulting in the degradation of agricultural land and the need for communities to clear new areas of forest for subsistence agriculture is the greatest threat to the IBA. This project consists of an integrated package of awareness, improved agricultural practices, forest protection and restoration to safeguard biodiversity interests and enhance sustainable community livelihoods.
Kids for Kadavu back to top
Funded by the Keidanren Nature Conservation Fund, this project will develop a kids programme linked to the Mt Nabukelevu (Kadavu, Fiji) project above. It will produce a pocket-guide bird book for children and a comic strip about the value of forests, ecosystems, birds and biodiversity. The BirdLife Fiji Programme will also organise an 'eco-camp' for school children around Mt Nabukelevu, including tree-planting, bird quizzes and nature walks. See also the news release about this project here.
For more details, contact Tuverea Tuamoto at email@example.com
Creating Permanent Forest Estates for the benefit of Fiji’s people and biodiversity back to top
Funded by the Aage V Jensen Charity Foundation
Fiji's forests are critical for the conservation of Fiji’s endemic biodiversity, but about half of Fiji’s forests have already been lost through clearance for agriculture, unsustainable logging, and fires. As a result, many of Fiji’s endemic species are threatened: at least 8 of Fiji’s palm species are Endangered or Critically Endangered; the Fiji Flying-fox is Critically Endangered (with three other bat species also threatened); the Crested Iguana is Critically Endangered; the Banded Iguana is Endangered; the Fijian Burrowing Snake is listed as Vulnerable; the Tree Frog is Near-Threatened, the Ground Frog Endangered and 11 of the 26 land birds are Red-listed, varying from Near-Threatened to Critically Endangered.
Fiji’s forests also contribute substantially to the quality of life of the rural people, providing timber and non-timber products, and environmental services such as soil conservation, water catchment, and carbon sinks. They are also very important for their deeply rooted traditional social and cultural values. Over 80% of Fiji’s land and forests are owned by ‘family clans’ called mataqalis, for whom these forests are their main source of livelihood.
Recognising that forests are of critical importance for Fiji’s people and biodiversity, the Government of Fiji introduced a new, progressive policy adopting Sustainable Forest Management (SFM), the Fiji Forest Policy (2007). One of the cornerstones of the new Forest Policy is the concept of 'Permanent Forest Estates' (PFEs), which promotes healthy forests under sustainable management by, and providing for sustainable development for, the Fijian landowners.
This project has three objectives: to create awareness among the forest-owning mataqalis about the opportunities and benefits of establishing Permanent Forest Estates on their lands; to create awareness among them and their children about the value of their forests; and to help build the capacity of a strong indigenous NGO that can continue forest conservation and environmental awareness activities after the project ends.
For further information contact Miliana Ravuso at firstname.lastname@example.org
Helping to establish effective Marine Protected Areas around the world back to top
Funded by the Aage V Jensen Charity Foundation
The BirdLife Pacific Partnership and Secretariat take part in a global BirdLife International initiative to ho help conserve the marine environment - with a large focus on the Pacific - by identifying Marine Important Bird Areas, and by promoting and demonstrating approaches to their conservation.
Identifying Important Bird Areas on the Cook Islands back to top
The Cook Islands comprise 15 islands with a total area of 237km2 and a human population of 18,000. It includes the Southern Cook Islands Endemic Bird Area (EBA). The country has a high level of endemicity, but in common with other Polynesian Islands, relatively low species diversity. Birds are well represented, 26% of the avifauna is endemic, of which six species are globally threatened. The islands also support three non-endemic threatened species including the recently reintroduced Rimatara Lorikeet (Endangered). However, significant gaps still exist in the overall knowledge of sites and threatened species in the Cook Islands which is hampering decision-makers to set science-based conservation priorities. Important Bird Areas (IBAs) have not been researched, making the Cook Islands one of the last Pacific Islands not to have an IBA process completed or underway.
With funding obtained from the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund, BirdLife International and Te Ipukarea Society (TIS, BirdLife in the Cook Islands) will fill this gap and will work together with other regional, national and local stakeholders to identify, discuss and agree a set of IBAs in the Cook Islands. This will provide a widely supported list of priority sites for conservation, which can then be used for local and national advocacy to ensure sites are included in planning and policy decisions.
For more information, contact email@example.com
Restoration of priority Pacific island ecosystems for people and biodiversity back to top
Funded by the UK Government Darwin Initiative
The UK Government Darwin Initiative has granted BirdLife International GBP £289,8 84 to implement a three-year island conservation project in the Pacific. The project, entitled “Restoration of Priority Pacific Island Ecosystems for People and Biodiversity” aims to improve the quality of life and livelihoods of people through the restoration and subsequent sustainable management of island ecosystems in Palau and Fiji.
Most documented extinctions of Pacific island birds are the result of Invasive Alien Species (IAS). Analysis shows that introduced rodents and cats are among the most damaging.
Palau hosts the greatest bird diversity in Micronesia. The four-island atoll of Kayangel covers an Important Bird Area (IBA) because of its population of Micronesian Megapode Megapodius laperouse (Endangered), and Palau Ground dove Gallicolumba canifrons (Near Threatened). Feral cats and rodents severely threaten the sustainability of these and other endangered species on the islands. Alien rodents also adversely impact quality of life for people living on Kayangel (population 190), preventing traditional agricultural practices and reducing crop productivity. Rats also transmit diseases including scrub typhus and leptospirosis (common and fatal).
IAS are also widely recognised in the decline of Fiji’s island biodiversity, especially for seabird breeding colonies. BirdLife International has eradicated rodents from nine IBA islands in Fiji (one in 2006, eight in 2008). Success has been confirmed for the first island and appears highly likely for the others. The challenge in Fiji is to enhance the sustainability of ‘restored’ islands and maximise their value to traditional owners. Communities have asked for assistance to develop Protected Area (PA) status for islands free of mammalian predators, to prevent alien species reintroduction, unsustainable resource use and enhance their tourism potential.
To address these issues effectively, the project consists of four main strategic elements:
1. Eradicate rodents and cats from Kayangel atoll in Palau.
2. Develop capacity of civil society and the Government of Palau in all aspects of IAS eradication and island biosecurity (prevention of reintroductions).
3. Support sustainable management of restored islands and facilitate the establishment of appropriate forms of community-based Protected Areas at nine sites in Fiji (Vatu-i-Ra, Mabualau and the seven Ringgold islands - all made rat-free through in previous BirdLife projects) and at Kayangel atoll in Palau.
4. Disseminate skills and best practices through a state-of-the-art media plan, a best practice manual and the establishment of an innovative regional network of practitioners and experts engaged in the development and implementation of cat and rodent eradication projects.
BirdLife International will implement this project through its regional Secretariat in Suva, Fiji and in close collaboration with the BirdLife Partner in Palau, the Palau Conservation Society; NatureFiji-MareqetiViti in Fiji; the Governments of Palau and Fiji and the local communities and mataqalis (land-owning clans) that own and/or live on the islands that are part of this project.
For further information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Restoration of important Pacific seabird islands
Funded by ‘The David & Lucile Packard Foundation’
This project constitutes the second phase of a restoration programme of tropical seabird islands by the BirdLife International Pacific Partnership, supported by the David & Lucile Packard Foundation. The restoration of seabird islands commenced in 2006 with the eradication of introduced predators (rats) from the globally important seabird island of Vatu-i-Ra in Fiji, and has since then seen the removal of rodents from a further 16 islands in four Pacific countries. Additionally, during Phase 1 (funded by RNHP, CEPF, Pacific Seabird Group, and the Packard Foundation), implementing partners in Fiji, French Polynesia, New Caledonia and Palau developed their technical capacities and strategic linkages with other national and regional agencies to continue, expand and sustain their restoration programmes. Phase 1 of this programme marked the beginning of national island restoration programmes and comprised the first ever significant eradication activities to protect globally important seabird colonies in each of these four countries.
In Phase 2, which is being implemented over a 30-month period starting in July 2009, the BirdLife Partners and their supporting Secretariat in the Pacific will build on the successes of Phase 1 and will (1) identify and assess priority seabird islands that require urgent restoration action; (2) prepare and implement restoration action for 19 priority sites in Fiji, French Polynesia, New Caledonia the Cook Islands, and Palau; (3) monitor the outcomes of restoration activities; and (4) work with local communities and government agencies towards the perpetual safeguarding of restored seabird islands. The BirdLife Pacific Partnership Secretariat in Fiji will continue to provide technical support and training for the implementing partners, and will facilitate collaboration with other relevant agencies such as the Pacific Invasives Initiative, the Pacific Invasives Learning Network, the New Zealand Department of Conservation, Island Conservation, and the UK Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.
Most importantly, this project will lead to the restoration of breeding habitats for 30 seabird species and presents a unique opportunity for the protection of nationally, regionally and globally important seabird populations including:
- Endangered: Phoenix Petrel (Pterodroma alba) and Tuamotu Sandpiper (Prosobonia cancellata)
- Vulnerable: Bristle-thighed curlew (Numenius tahitiensis), Fairy Tern (Sterna nereis exsul), Gould’s Petrel (Pterodroma leucoptera) and Polynesian Storm-petrel (Nesofregetta fuliginosa)
- Near Threatened: Collared Petrel (Pterodroma brevipes), Murphy’s Petrel (Pterodroma ultima) and Tahiti Petrel (Pseudobulweria rostrata)
- Least Concern: Audubon's Shearwater (Puffinus Iherminieri), Christmas Shearwater (Puffinus nativitatis), Wedge-tailed Shearwater (Puffinus pacificus), Black-winged Petrel (Pterodroma nigripennis), Herald Petrel (Pterodroma heraldica), Brown Booby (Sula leucogaster), Red-footed Booby (Sula sula), Masked Booby (Sula dactylatra), Greater Frigatebird (Fregata minor), Lesser Frigatebird (Fregata ariel), Black Noddy (Anous minutus), Brown Noddy (Anous stolidus), Blue Noddy (Procelsterna cerulean), White-tailed Tropicbird (Phaeton lepturus), Red-tailed Tropicbird (Phaeton rubricauda), Black-naped Tern (Sterna sumatrana), Great Crested Tern (Sterna bergii), Grey-backed Tern (Sterna lunata), Roseate Tern (Sterna dougallii bangsi), Sooty tern (Sterna fuscata), White Tern (Gygis alba).
Additionally 6 threatened species of landbird including:
- Critically Endangered: Polynesian Ground-dove (Gallicolumba erythroptera)
- Endangered: Micronesian Megapode (Megapodius laperouse) and Polynesian Imperial Pigeon (Ducula Aurora)
- Vulnerable: Blue Lorikeet (Vini peruviana) and Makatea Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus chalcurus)
- Near Threatened: Atoll Fruit-dove (Ptilinopus coralensis)
and at least five species of reptile will benefit from this work including:
- Critically Endangered: Crested Iguana (Brachylophus vitiensis) and Hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricate)
- Endangered: Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas) and Marianas Flying-fox (Pteropus mariannus)
- Pacific Boa (Candoia bibroni)
For more information please contact Steve Cranwell at email@example.com
Saving the endangered Parrots of the Pacific back to top
Funded by the British BirdWatching Fair
This project is addressing the very real threat of extinction that five Pacific parrot species currently face in three Pacific nations; in French Polynesia the Rimatara (Kuhls) Lorikeet (Vini kuhlii) and the Ultramarine Lorikeet (Vini ultramarina); in Fiji the Red-throated Lorikeet (Charmosyna amablis), and in New Caledonia the New Caledonian Lorikeet (Charmosyna daidema) and the Uvea Parakeet (Eunymphicus uvaeenis) (all Endangered).
Although once widespread over several islands, each of these species now have their world populations concentrated on only one island. Such a restricted global distribution makes them extremely vulnerable to extinction. Other populations have been gradually brought to extinction on other islands after the colonisation of black rats. This project therefore aims to prevent further rat invasions and create new populations of these parrots on islands that were once part of the species range, in order to increase the chances of survival of these species.
The project is specifically working towards:
Improving the conservation status of these parrot species. This is being done by site management and control of competitor species (Uvea Parakeet) and the establishment of a satellite population in suitable and rat free islands (Rimatara Lorikeet). Click here for more information.
Strengthening and sustaining the prevention measures against the invasion of black rats in the islands which are the last refuge to endangered parrots and other species (Ultramarine Lorikeet and Rimatara Lorikeet).
Assessing the conservation status of species which have not been located in recent years and locate the critical sites/IBAs which might still harbour them (Red-throated Lorikeet and New Caledonian Lorikeet).
Advancing the IBA programme in countries where capacity is currently lacking (Samoa). Click here for more information.
Overall, the project supports and develops capacity in all BirdLife network organisations involved and greatly raises awareness of the target species and their conservation issues in each respective country. Advocacy and training are a major part of this project. Experience gathered through the project will be shared across the whole BirdLife Pacific network.
For more information, please contact Steve Cranwell at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Preventing Extinctions Programme in the Pacific back to top
Saving the Crow Honeyeater in New Caledonia
The BirdLife International Community Conservation Fund has awarded the Société Calédonienne d’Ornithologie (SCO), BirdLife in New Caledonia, a small grant to initiate conservation activities to save the Critically Endangered Crow Honeyeater Gymnomyza aubryana. Very little is known of the species: the cause of its decline, its population numbers and its current distribution remain to be identified. Crow Honeyeaters are currently confirmed as surviving in one IBA (“Massifs du Grand Sud”) only. There are other unconfirmed reports that it may still remain in a second IBA (“Massif du Panié”). The problems for the species may relate to a combination of factors: food and habitat loss/degradation, life traits developed in isolation (long life, one egg per year), and alien predators are likely to be the major threats and tip the balance toward extinction.
This project proposes to: 1) appoint a Species Guardian to co-ordinate and report on conservation of the Crow Honeyeater, 2) to undertake essential survey and basic research for conservation planning, 3) write and publish a Species Action Plan and raise awareness on the plight of the Crow Honeyeater, and 4) improve awareness by undertaking a campaign aimed at the local communities surrounding the IBA “Massifs du Grand Sud”, the general public and New Caledonian authorities and decision makers.
Saving the Fiji Petrel in Fiji
Nature Fiji-MareqetiViti is the Species Guardian for the Critically Endangered Fiji Petrel Pseudobulwaria macgillivrayi. Funded by a range of donors including the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund, the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund, the BirdLife International Community Conservation Fund and the Preventing Extinctions Programme, NatureFiji-MareqetiViti has initiated research and conservation action for the enigmatic Fiji Petrel both at sea and on land. A 'chumming' exercise at sea in 2009 led to some stunning images and new information on the petrel, while on-land conservation action (on the island of Gau) includes training local people how to 'release' crashed petrels, organising 'new-moon listening camps' to locate petrel nesting sites, employing specially trained wildlife search dogs, and raising awareness among the communities on Gau about the need for wild pig trapping, in order to create a safe habitat for the birds.
Saving the Polynesian Ground-dove in French Polynesia
The US Fish and Wildlife Service has provided funding to save the Critically Endangered Polynesian Ground-dove Gallicolumba erythroptera. This species has a tiny and fragile population on four atolls in French Polynesia, and has been pushed to the brink of extinction by habitat destruction and the impacts of introduced mammalian predators. A species recovery programme is being implemented by Société d'Ornithologie de Polynésie (SOP Manu, BirdLife in French Polynesia) which includes eradicating rats from islets, monitoring the population, working with communities to raise awareness and undertaking research. Manu has become the Species Guardian for the Polynesian ground-dove under the BirdLife International Preventing Extinctions Programme and is working in partnership with Government, NGOs and communities.
This USFWS-funded project will support the development of the recovery programme, in particular it will undertake urgent action to eradicate rats from two islets of the Rangiroa Atoll and create 50 acres of predator free habitat for this tiny and vulnerable population. Moreover it will work with the communities of Rangiroa to examine options and plan for the removal of rats and cats from the whole atoll, the most sustainable option for managing this population. The project will support the formation of and train a local community group (Site Support Group) to assist with management and monitoring. Finally, the project will support the development of a stakeholder agreed Species Action Plan.
Saving the Tuamotu Kingfisher in French Polynesia
Funding has been obtained from the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund to save the Critically Endangered Tuamotu Kingfisher Todiramphus gambieri. This bird species is restricted to the Island of Niau in the Tuamotu Archipelago of French Polynesia and its population appears to have declined rapidly. The nominate race gambieri became extinct in c.1922, leaving one population on Niau (niauensis). The population is now estimated at 120 individuals. BirdLife in French Polynesia, SOP Manu, together with its partner organisation CRIP Fa’a’api will develop a Species Action Plan and monitor the remaining population, while raising awareness among local people and designing community-based conservation action to save the Tuamotu Kingfisher.
Saving the Tahiti Monarch in French Polynesia - a Species Guardian at work
The Tahiti Monarch Pomarea nigra is a rare and beautiful bird which remains under constant threat from invasive alien predators - mainly rats that attack their nests. Even though rescue efforts have been underway since the 1990s, funded by a variety of donors, only 23 birds are known today which makes this species Critically Endangered. La Société d’Ornithologie de Polynésie SOP Manu, the BirdLife Partner-Designate in French Polynesia, has been appointed as the Species Guardian for the Tahiti Monarch, and has already achieved success by preventing the immediate extinction of the species. The following photo series shows the search for the surviving Tahiti Monarchs in French Polynesia in 2009 (all pictures by James Millett). See also the press release here.
Click <i> for more information on each slide.
This project is supported by the BirdLife Preventing Extinctions Programme.
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