27 Mar 2013

Nunia Thomas takes charge at NatureFiji-MareqetiViti

By BirdLife Pacific

Nunia Thomas, NatureFiji-MareqetiViti’s Conservation Co-ordinator has been appointed Director, taking charge of Fiji’s most progressive local conservation organisation. “Nunia was NatureFiji-MareqetiViti’s first recruit, five years ago and she has developed into a dedicated and passionate conservation professional”, said Dr Dick Watling – one of NatureFiji-MareqetiViti’s Founding Trustees. “She brought to NatureFiji-MareqetiViti advanced technical expertise as a field-oriented biologist and has rapidly developed the administrative, people and community skills so important for a conservation professional. We are especially delighted that we have been able to promote from within the organisation”. She takes charge of a staff of ten project officers with responsibility for twelve on-going projects. Nunia read Biology and Environmental Sciences at the University of the South Pacific, before going on to complete her Master of Science at the University’s Institute of Applied Science. The subject of her thesis was Fiji’s little-known endemic ground frog, one of the two currently threatened endemic frogs, requiring active conservation management. As Fiji’s foremost herpetologist, Nunia was appointed to assist the Biosecurity Authority of Fiji with advice on the biological and community aspects of the eradication of the American Iguana. Her current responsibilities will see her taking charge of projects working on some of Fiji’s most endangered and iconic species including the Fiji Petrel, the Fiji Sago Palm, the Red-throated Lorikeet and the Fiji Flying Fox.