Welcome to our first e-bulletin in 2011. In this issue we bring you news of some of the activities being carried out by BirdLife Partners across the Pacific region to save our most threatened bird species – and our wider biodiversity – from extinction. You’ll read about what’s being done for the Critically Endangered Crow Honeyeater in New Caledonia; the New Zealand Fairy Tern – that country’s rarest bird – and the Great Spotted Kiwi; an attempt to rediscover the elusive Pohnpei Mountain Starling in the Federated States of Micronesia; plus reports on Important Bird Areas for seabirds in the Pacific and how seabirds are returning to Fiji’s Ringgold Islands following a successful programme to eradicate rats; community efforts to restore forest habitats in Fiji; success with combating invasive vines in Vanuatu; and dismay in Australia over an extension of the duck-shooting season in the State of Victoria.
Back in the Secretariat, we received a visit in November from the Board of Trustees of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation of the United States, led by the Chairman of the Foundation, Susan Packard Orr, and her sister, Nancy Packard Burnett – daughters of the Foundation’s founders – and seven other trustees and staff. The Packard party was briefed on the work being undertaken by BirdLife Pacific Partners in the region, especially on seabirds and islands restorations and was also taken on birdwatching trips around Suva. Funding grants from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation were instrumental in initialing seabirds’ programmes in the Pacific which are being undertaken by BirdLife Partners in Fiji, French Polynesia, New Caledonia, New Zealand and Palau and the visit gave the trustees the opportunity to learn at first-hand the issues involved in implementing these programmes.
Following the signing of a contract with the European Union in December, in the coming weeks we shall be appointing a Regional Programme Manager Alien Invasive Species to manage our new, EU-funded regional project. We shall also be planning to host a mid-term review, on behalf of Conservation International, of projects funded under the CEPF’s Polynesia-Micronesia Hotspot. That meeting is expected to be held in Fiji in early June. We shall also begin preparations for the convening, in October, in association with SOP-MANU, the BirdLife Partner in French Polynesia, of the next Pacific Partnership Meeting. All-in-all, 2011 is shaping up to be another productive and exciting year, as was 2010, for the Partnership and for all those interested in and concerned about the conservation status of birds in the Pacific. I wish all our readers the same.
Click here to download the e-bulletin.
Don Stewart - BirdLife Director for the Pacific