Feb 12, 2009

Important Bird Areas in Fiji Conserving Fiji's Natural Heritage

By Guy Dutson and Vilikesa Masibalavu

Fiji supports a diverse range of birds, many of which are found nowhere else in the world. This book presents the best sites for bird conservation to strengthen and add to Fiji’s existing protected area system.

This book documents the results of a three-year research project to identify sites of global importance for bird conservation in Fiji. It draws on all previously published research on Fiji’s birds but relies mostly on data obtained from the 43 field surveys undertaken by this project. Those sites found to meet or exceed the selection criteria as defined by BirdLife

International are designated as Important Bird Areas (IBAs). IBA designation has no legal basis but it provides a strong scientific justification for the conservation of these areas.

Fourteen sites have been identified as IBAs, covering about 17% of Fiji’s land area and about 40% of Fiji’s remaining forest. These IBAs comprise the largest remaining areas of natural forests on the main islands (Viti Levu, Vanua Levu, Taveuni, Kadavu and Gau) plus the whole of two small islands which each support a threatened bird species found nowhere else (Rotuma and Ogea) and Vatu-i-Ra, which supports Fiji’s biggest seabird nesting colony. The safeguard of these areas is vital for the conservation of Fiji’s threatened and endemic bird species. Fiji holds 11 species threatened with global Extinction and another six classified as Near Threatened. It also has sole responsibility for 27 national endemic species, while another ten species are shared only with its smaller closest neighbours. 

The network of 14 IBAs supports all the known populations of the most threatened species and >40% of the populations of the other threatened and endemic species. Conservation of these IBAs requires awareness, commitment and action from government through to native land-owners. BirdLife International aims to work with land-owners to promote conservation awareness and action, and to help the government and all the people of Fiji to ensure survival of these birds and other wildlife for the benefit of future generations of Fijians.

ISBN:  978-982-9101-01-3 

72 p. 24.4 cm;  © 2006 BirdLife International