Oct 30, 2008

Fiji Map

A superb travel guide in the form of a map. This detailed map highlights all the larger Fiji Islands plus inset maps of Lautoka, Nadi, Suva and Sigatoka. Almost an entire side of this map is devoted to providing information on Fiji, its scenic attractions, points of interest, tourist resorts, and facilities available.

ISBN13: 9781865001838
Map Date: 2005
Edition: 5
Scale: 1:600 000

Oct 28, 2008

Kadavu (Crimson) Shining Parrot - NatureFiji-MareqetiViti Endangered Species

Kadavu Parrot
Kadavu Parrot
Kadavu (Crimson) Shining Parrot
Prosopeia splendens
Kaka, Kakula
Island EndemicVulnerableCites - Appendix II

The Kadavu parrot is the most distinctive of Fiji’s colourful Shining Parrots. It is a large parrot, similar in size to Fiji’s other two endemic Shining Parrots, measuring up to 45 cm from the tip of its beak to the tip of its tail. The colouration of the Kadavu parrot distinguishes it from the other two species. Its head, neck and underparts are a bright scarlet with a blue collar that extends across back of the neck; the back and the rump are a bright shining green. The flight feathers and tail are green, strongly suffused with blue. The bill and feet are black, and the irises are orange in colour. Males and females are similar, however, the bill of males is larger and the head is more square-shaped than females.


Click map to enlarge/shrink map size
Kadavu Parrot map
This colourful bird is endemic to the island of Kadavu and nearby Ono. The Kadavu parrot is occasionally seen on Viti Levu as escaped pet birds, but there are no known records of them successfully breeding outside of Kadavu and Ono.

Habitat, Ecology and Behaviour
The parrots range widely, in small flocks of up to a dozen birds, over the whole of Kadavu and Ono. While most of their food is located in forest areas, they may also visit farms and gardens, mangroves and secondary forest areas. Parrots are specialist seed eaters but they also feed on,fruits, buds and young leaves. While there is some information available on the breeding habits and nesting of the other two endemic parrots: Proposopeia tabuensis and P. personata, there has been no detailed study of the ecology and reproductive behaviour of the Kadavu Shining parrot.

The destruction of the Kadavu Parrot’s habitat and its illegal trade as a cage bird are the most serious current threats to the survival of this noisy forest bird. Predation by introduced mammals such as feral cats and rats are also a possible threat, though this has yet to be determined.

Conservation Status
The Kadavu Parrot is listed as Vulnerable under the IUCN Redlist of Threatened species and is protected by law against trading and transfers out of Kadavu and Ono.

Remarks and Cultural Significance
The presence of the Kadavu Parrot in Ono today is in defiance of a popular Fijian legend which saw them banished from the island of Ono – though intriguingly when Theodore Kleinschmidt visited Ono in 1876, our first observations on the island, he noted the absence of parrots there! The main features that distinguish the Kadavu parrot from Fiji’s other two parrots are the scarlet as opposed to maroon underparts and the striking blue collar at the back of the neck.

Watling (2004)

NatureFiji-MareqetiViti Endangered Species

Oct 22, 2008

NatureFiji-MareqetiViti Endangered Species

It is unfortunate but true, for most students here in Fiji it is easier to obtain information on Australian or New Zealand’s endangered wildlife than Fiji’s own. NatureFiji-MareqetiViti’s first project aims to rectify this, and we here present “Endangered Species of Fiji”. This is the first collation of Fiji’s endangered Natural Heritage and is presented in a form available to schools and students with access to computers, and/or teachers with computer access. This will be followed up with an Endangered Species of Fiji Interactive CD being provided to each of Fiji’s schools.

We are most grateful to the British High Commission for their support, without which it is doubtful we could have completed this project.

Note: This is a beta version, please send comments or corrections. Additional material or photographs would be greatly appreciated. nuniat@naturefiji.org

See the website for great info: NatureFiji-MareqetiViti Endangered Species

Polynesian Storm Petrel - Nesofregetta fuliginosa

Polynesian Storm Petrel - Nesofregetta fuliginosa

First confirmed sighting in Fiji waters since an adult was in Kadavu in 1876. Photographed by J.Kretzschmar off Gau. Listed as Vulnerable by IUCN.

This is the largest storm petrel, measuring up to 25cm from the tip of the beak to the tip of the tail. They have sooty black upperparts that contrast with their narrow white rump. The upperwing is sooty brown with a pale bar across middle on inner wing. The underparts are highly variable, light phase birds have pale underparts with a brown breast band, dark birds are totally sooty-black. The tail is dark and moderately forked, but this is often difficult to see as the feet trail beyond the tail.

Where it occurs, the Polynesian Storm Petrel is categorised as Vulnerable, however, it is considered to have become lost from the Fiji islands as a breeding bird.

NatureFiji-MareqetiViti Endangered Species

BirdQuest | Tour Reports | NEW CALEDONIA & FIJI


Friday 5th October - Sunday 21st October 2007

Richard Thomas

The October 2007 tour to the island archipelagos of New Caledonia and Fiji was hugely successful and recorded more species in the region than any previous Birdquest visit. Highlights on New Caledonia included all the main island and Lifou extant endemics, stunning views by all participants of the notoriously skulking and elusive New Caledonian Grassbird, superb views of male Cloven-feathered Doves, two Crow Honeyeaters, and all topped off with a staggering eight individuals of the incomparable Kagu. Our visit to Fiji recorded 21 endemics. Highlights of this tropical island nation paradise included a stunning array of fruit-doves: Many-coloured, Velvet, Golden, and of course the incredible Orange Dove, plus an unknown “Yellow Dove” that first appeared on Taveuni following a typhoon and which may prove be a species as yet unknown to science. Once again we recorded several of the increasingly scarce and elusive Black-throated Shrikebills, including a pair at Colo-i-Suva. The tour recorded 125 species, 40 of them endemic to either New Caledonia or Fiji, plus around 20 regional specialities.

BirdQuest | Tour Reports | NEW CALEDONIA & FIJI

FIJI Birdwatching Trip Report from birdtours.co.uk

FIJI, March 3 to 11, 2008, Murray Lord and Chris Gladwin


We visited the islands of Taveuni, Kadavu and Viti Levu in Fiji between March 3 and 11, 2008. It was a successful trip, seeing all but one of the birds we hoped to find, and making up for that with one species we had not expected to see (Pacific Imperial-Pigeon).

Kadavu: The accommodation choice on Kadavu is a bit less clearcut. Many birders have stayed at Reece’s Place. From what we could discover on the web the place is allegedly being renovated, but if it is possible to stay there at the moment you will have to bring your own food and stay in something that may fall down around you. But it’s not clear whether things have changed since that was written. With most of the other places astronomically expensive we decided to opt for Matava ( www.matava.com ) which is a long boat ride away from the airport. The only birder we had read of having visited found all four Kadavu endemics on the grounds. It was a nice place and the service was good. But from a birder’s perspective the long boat trips mean you really have to stay on Kadavu for two nights rather than one to get a decent amount of time in the field. And the risk you run – as we found out – is that if there are no fruiting trees around the Resort at the time you visit then there may be no doves, and because of the lack of roads, there are no opportunities to other parts of the island easily. So while Matava is good, and some of the nearby snorkeling excellent, it may not be the best choice for birders. One trip report mentions Biana Guest House but we were not able to find out anything about it.

T = Taveuni V = Viti Levu K = Kadavu

Brown Booby (Sula leucogaster)
K: several seen during boat trips around Matava.

Lesser Frigatebird (Fregatta ariel)
T: one seen near the airport.
K: several seen around Matava and on the boat trip back to Vunisea.

White-faced Heron (Egretta novaehollandiae)
V: several seen at Nadi Airport.

Pacific Reef-egret (Egretta sacra)
T: a couple around Garden Island Resort
K: several around Matava.

Swamp Harrier (Circus approximans)
A couple of sightings on each island.

Fiji Goshawk (Accipiter rufitorques)
T: seen near entrance to Garden Island Resort as well as on Des Voeux Peak.
V: seen at entrance to Colo-i-Suva and at Nabokalevu.
K: two up the hill from Matava.

Masked Lapwing (Vanellus miles)
V: one present at Suva airport. Apparently has been there for a while.

Pacific Golden Plover (Pluvialis fulva)
T: seen at Taveuni Airport
V: seen at Nadi and Suva airports

Wandering Tattler (Tringa incana)
T: one tattler thought to be this species seen about a kilometre south of Garden Island Resort.
K: one present around Matava.

Brown Noddy (Anous minutus)
K: seen on boat trips to and from Matava.

Bridled Tern (Onychoprion anaethetus)
K: seen on boat trips to and from Matava.

Crested Tern (Sterna bergii)
T: several seen.
K: seen on boat trips to and from Matava.

Black-naped Tern (Sterna sumatrana)
T: distant birds thought to be this species seen near the airport.
K: seen on boat trips to and from Matava.

White-throated (Metallic) Pigeon (Columba vitiensis).
T: One at Nabogi Ono Farms.
V: Two seen from the road when returning from Nabokalevu, not far from Pipeline Road.

Spotted Turtle-Dove (Streptopelia chinensis)
Seen on Taveuni and Viti Levu.

Shy Ground-Dove (Gallicolumba stairi)
T: one seen at Nabogi Ono Farms, thanks to Bobby who knew where to look and managed to flush the bird towards us.
V: one seen several times on the grounds of Raintree Lodge on the afternoon of 10 March. Vili was not aware of anyone having seen them there previously.

Many-coloured Fruit-dove (Ptilinopus perousii):
T: about a dozen seen well at Nabogi Ono Farms, where they came in to roost at dusk.
V: one female seen in one of the tall trees along the road up the hill to the cabins at Raintree Lodge.
Note on identification of fruit-doves: at first we thought the female bird we were looking at might have been a Crimson-crowned Fruit-Dove (P. porphyraceus). However once you examine the text of the Pratt field guide in relation to the variation between races, you realise those species are harder to separate than the pictures initially suggest. The undertail pattern is important. Vili suggested he is skeptical of some of the reports of Purple-capped Fruit-Doves from the main islands that are in some trip reports.

Orange Dove (Ptilinopus victor)
T: several seen each day on Des Voeux Peak, including a couple of females that seemed to have roosted overnight just below the gate. Also outstanding views of around four males at Nabogi Ono Farms where Bobby said they are present year round.

Golden Dove (Ptilinopus luteovirens)
V: one male seen along the road at Colo-i-Suva on the 7th. Fairly common, though skittish, in the Nabokalevu area on the 9th and 10th. Several, including males, seen on the grounds of Raintree Lodge on the 10th.

Pacific Imperial-Pigeon (Ducula pacifica)
T: the surprise bird of the trip, with a group of around 50 birds present at Nabogi Ono Farms. Photographed.

Peale's (Barking) Imperial-Pigeon (Ducula latrans)
T: numerous on Des Voeux Peak.
V: up to 50 along the road near the entrance to Colo-i-Suva. Also seen at Nabokalevu.
K: present around Matava.

Fan-tailed Cuckoo (Cacomantis flabelliformis)
V: One bird seen at Nabokalevu. Probably also heard on Taveuni at Des Voeux Peak.

Crimson Shining Parrot (Prosopeia splendens)
K: present around Matava although many birds seen distantly. Seen well around the plantation.

Masked Shining Parrot (Prosopeia personata)
V: seen at Raintree Lodge, Colo-i-Suva and Nabokalevu.

Red Shining Parrot (Prosopeia tabuensis)
T: one or two seen each day on Des Voeux Peak.

Collared Lory (Phigys solitarius)
Common and widespread on all three islands.

Barn Owl (Tyto alba)
K: one bird seen at dawn flying above Matava.

White-rumped Swiftlet (Collocalia spodiopygius)
Seen on all three islands.

Sacred Kingfisher (Todirhamphus sanctus)
Seen on all three islands.

Pacific Swallow (Hirundo tahitica)
Widespread on all three islands

Polynesian Triller (Lalage maculosa)
Seen on all three islands.

Red-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus cafer)
V: common around towns, including on grounds of Raintree Lodge.

Pacific Robin (Petroica multicolor) (still regarded as part of broader Scarlet Robin P. multicolor by Clements and some other checklists, but split accepted by several recent lists)
T: race taveunensis. A pair seen on Des Voeux Peak.

Golden Whistler (Pachycephala pectoralis):
T: race torquata. One seen well on Des Voeux Peak.
V: race optata. One seen at Colo-i-Suva and others heard at Nabokalevu.
K: race kandavensis. Seen on the hill above Matava.

Fiji Shrikebill (Clytorhynchus vitiensis)
T: Several seen on Des Voeux Peak on the 4th.
V: One seen at the entrance to Colo-i-Suva and another at Nabokalevu.

Black-throated Shrikebill (Clytorhynchus nigrogularis)
V: heard along Falls trail at Colo-i-Suva. A pair eventually seen thanks to using playback at Nabokalevu.
Note on identification of shrikebills: The pictures in the Pratt field guide are somewhat misleading as they show the Fiji Shrikebill as being more distinctively marked than they are. Also note that while some calls of Black-throated Shrikebill are distinctive, there is an overlap in calls. As several trip reports note, the Black-throated Shrikebill is a skulker. It is noticeably bigger than the Fiji – which of course is not much use if you are looking at them for the first time. Distinguishing features of the female Black-throated that we found useful include a pale tip to the bill, and (based on our sample of one) the wings looked more rufous. Plus the bill is clearly bulkier. Handbook of the Birds of the World has a far better illustration of them. For a comprehensive review of the differences between them see G. Dutson (2006) The Pacific Shrikebills (Clytorhynchus) and the case for species status for the form sanctaecrucis. Bull. BOC. 126: 299-308.

Slaty Monarch (Mayrornis lessoni)
Widespread in small numbers on all three islands

Vanikoro Flycatcher (Myiagra vanikorensis)
Common on all three islands, including around towns.

Blue-crested Flycatcher (Myiagra azureocapilla)
T: reasonably numerous on Des Voeux Peak. Also at Nabogi Ono Farms.
V: seen at Colo-i-Suva and Nabokalevu.

Silktail (Lamprolia victoriae)
T: several seen each morning on Des Voeux Peak. Views were adequate but as the birds were very active they tended to be brief. Best views were obtained on the outside of the left bend just above the gate.

Streaked Fantail (Rhipidura spilodera)
T: very common on Des Voeux Peak with up to 25 seen. Also at Nabogi Ono Farms.
V: seen at Colo-i-Suva and Nabokalevu.

Kadavu Fantail (Rhipidura personata)
K: Reasonably common along trails around Matava .

Fiji Bush-Warbler (Cettia ruficapilla)
T: race funebris. Reasonably conspicuous on Des Voeux Peak.
V: race badiceps. Seen well at the entrance to Colo-i-Suva and heard elsewhere.
K: race ruficapilla. This distinctive race (with a rufous cap, as its name suggests) seen on the hill above Matava.

Island Thrush (Turdus poliocephalus)
T: race tempesti. Reasonably common on Des Voeux Peak, particularly very early in the morning, though views tended to be brief.
V: race layardi. One seen flying across a road at Nabokalevu.

Fiji Woodswallow (Artamus mentalis)
T: common and widespread, especially along coast.
V: seen at several locations.

Polynesian Starling (Aplonis tabuensis).
T: several at Nabogi Ono Farms. One seen on Des Voeux Peak on the 5th.
K: several near Matava. One seen briefly at the airport.

Jungle Myna (Acridotheres fuscus)
V: present around Raintree Lodge.

Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis)
Seen on Taveuni and Viti Levu. Abundant.

Silvereye (Zosterops lateralis)
T: common lower down Des Voeux Peak, at sea level and at Nabogi Ono Farms.
V: common at Colo-i-Suva.
K: seen around Matava.

Layard's White-eye (Zosterops explorator).
T: common on Des Voeux Peak with up to 20 seen.
V: seen at and at Nabokalevu.
Note: Layard’s were only seen in primary forest at high altitude.

Orange-breasted Myzomela (Myzomela jugularis)
Common and widespread on all three islands. Up to 20 seen at some locations (e.g. Des Voeux Peak).

Wattled Honeyeater (Foulehaio carunculata)
Common and widespread on Kadavu and Viti Levu.

Kadavu Honeyeater (Xanthotis provocator)
K: several seen around Matava. Not particularly numerous.

Giant Forest Honeyeater (Gymnomyza viridis)
T: race viridis. Several seen each day on Des Voeux Peak.
V: race brunneirostris. Seen at all sites visited. Loud and conspicuous.

Fiji Parrotfinch (Erythrura pealii).
T: Seen on Des Voeux Peak
V: seen at all locations visited, including the carpark of Nadi Airport.

Pink-billed Parrotfinch (Erythrura kleinschmidti)
V: untickable view of one bird overhead at Nabokalevu on the 10th. Identified by Vili based on call.

Red Avadavat (Amandava amandava)
V: A couple seen from the car between Suva airport and Raintree Lodge

Read full report at Birdwatching Trip Report from birdtours.co.uk


From New Caledonia we fly to Fiji, a group that comprises two large islands (Viti Levu and Vanua Levu), two medium-sized islands (Taveuni and Kadavu) and a large number of small islands and islets. We will visit three of the larger islands, where we should see all of Fiji’s 27 endemic birds except for two restricted to remote islets and four others that are exceedingly rare (and hardly ever observed). Firstly we will explore Viti Levu, the main island, followed by relaxing visits to the peaceful, beautiful and largely undeveloped islands of Taveuni and Kadavu. It will be hard to drag ourselves away from such a paradise.

View Gallery Photos From NEW CALEDONIA & FIJI
Without doubt, this is one of THE tours for pigeon enthusiasts with such spectacular species as Orange Dove (János Oláh)

Without doubt, this is one of THE tours for pigeon enthusiasts with such spectacular species as Orange Dove (János Oláh)

... Whistling Dove (János Oláh)

... Whistling Dove (János Oláh)

... Cloven-feathered Dove (János Oláh)

... Cloven-feathered Dove (János Oláh)

... and Many-coloured Fruit-Dove (Richard Thomas)

... and Many-coloured Fruit-Dove (Richard Thomas)

The marvellous Red Shining-parrot can be found on Taveuni (Richard Thomas)

The marvellous Red Shining-parrot can be found on Taveuni (Richard Thomas)


Fiji Petrel

Dr Dick Watling MareqetiViti (NatureFiji)
Critically Endangered Fiji Petrel was previously known from just one specimen collected in 1855 on Gau Island, Fiji.
Zoom I

Search continues for Fiji Petrel…


An expedition in search of Fiji’s only endemic seabird - Critically Endangered Fiji Petrel Pseudobulweria macgillivrayi – had to be aborted. Conservation action now continues to focus upon working alongside local communities to locate and protect their elusive breeding grounds.

The rare petrel was previously known from just one specimen collected in 1855 on Gau Island, Fiji. However, there have been more sightings in recent years from the small island, and a bird was captured and released there in 1984 by Dr Dick Watling of MareqetiViti (NatureFiji).

The recent voyage aimed to provide the first confirmed reports of Fiji Petrel at sea. The scientists were also keen to test the possibility of catching and fitting adults with radio transmittors. However, the trip had to be abandoned after three days due to mechanical problems with the survey vessel.

Hadoram Shirihai – an ornithologist on the expedition - commented: “It was most frustrating for us to leave prematurely without confirmed sightings of this elusive bird”. However, the crew did manage to view some impressive seabirds. Sightings included the first confirmed White-throated Storm-petrel Nesofregetta fuliginosa (Vulnerable) in the Fiji and Samoa biogeographical region for 132 years. Also observed were the first and second confirmed Fijian sightings respectively of White-bellied Storm-petrel Fregetta grallaria and Kermadec Petrel Pterodroma neglecta. “It is evident from our records the real possibilities for groundbreaking research in this marine area”, noted Mr Shirihai.

Read full report here: Fiji Petrel

The Fiji Petrel Expedition 2008

Most birders will know the story behind the enigmatic and near-mythical Fiji Petrel. Unrecorded from the type specimen taken in 1855 until 1984 when Dick Watling had the extraordinary experience, when spotlighting, of a bird crash-landing into his head! Breeding is suspected on the small island of Gau but detailed searching there has not found any birds. Some 10 though, mainly juveniles, have since crashed onto roofs and grounded in a local village there. One of these last year, 2007, having died, is now preserved as a study skin (the 1855 skin is at the BMNH and this second in Fiji). The biology of the species is completely unknown.

The voyage had three main goals:

1. To learn the at-sea identification of the Fiji Petrel, observe behaviour if possible, and hopefully get an understanding of the likely numbers in the area.

2. To try to obtain photos of Fiji Petrel at sea, for use in both scientific and conservation/education publications to protect native Fijian birds.

3. To survey other species of petrels in this area, on which limited information is currently available.

Read full report here: Seabirding