• Endangered Species Overview

  • Purpose
  • Fiji Overview
  • Status
  • IUCN
  • CITES
The aim of the 'Endangered Species of Fiji' project is to provide information to the public, particularly high school students, tertiary level students and their teachers on 50 of Fiji's endangered species. This is done in the hope that their keen interest will lead them to support the conservation and much needed research on our very own diverse, and yet threatened flora and fauna. We particularly hope that some will become so enthused with our wonderful wildlife that they will pursue careers in research and conservation. While we are surrounded by sea and ocean, and our marine biodiversity is very rich and diverse, we share nearly all our marine biodiversity with our neighbours indeed, in most cases, with tropical islands and coastal countries around the world. The number of endemic marine species is very low, less than 20 are currently documented. In contrast, our terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems are not only biodiversity rich but also contain a very large number of endemic species, over 946 are currently known.

(Refer to Table 1). It is our endemic species whose conservation we are exclusively responsible for - no other country can do this for us. On the other hand, we share responsibility for the conservation of turtles and other marine species with tens if not hundreds of other countries. It is for this reason that the 'Endangered Species of Fiji' are almost exclusively terrestrial. This does not mean that conserving marine habitats and species is unimportant, it is very important especially with respect to sustainable use; however, our terrestrial species and our forests in particular are clearly the priority.

It is important to note that there are many more than 50 endangered species in Fiji and this project only highlights 16 % of that number. For instance we know of over 100 plants which have been described as separate species from a single collection at one place (the type locality) but we have no more information at all about that plant ... nobody has been to find it again !! There are even more insects known, like these plants, from the type collection. While this is a limitation to the project, it is a challenge to the students and teachers to find out more about all our other endangered wildlife and to take measures to ensure that they do not become extinct because of our neglect through research and conservation management.

Selection Criteria for Inclusion in the Endangered Species of Fiji



Main categories of plants and animals for the 'Endangered Species of Fiji' are listed as follows:

  1. Plants
  2. Birds
  3. Reptiles (lizards, iguanas, snakes, turtles)
  4. Amphibians (frogs)
  5. Fish (freshwater and marine fin fishes)
  6. Mammals (bats)
  7. Invertebrates (terrestrial arthropods and gastropods)


The project first drew up a list of candidate species based on the criteria below and these were then checked by a group of specialists asked to oversee the selection.

  1. An IUCN Redlist Threatened species
  2. Listed in the Appendices of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).
  3. Listed in the Endangered Species Protection Act (2002)Schedules
  4. Identified in Fiji's Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP 2007)
  5. Threatened species known by local experts but not yet listed in the national and international documents.
  6. Culturally important
  7. Occurs in an endangered ecosystem
  8. Endemic to Fiji


All qualifying species fell in at least four of the above categories. It is important to note that not all the species selected for inclusion are IUCN Redlisted species, this is because IUCN requires some information on the species to make a listing and in the absence of that information, no listing is made. IUCN also requires the information to be provided by specialists and for many groups we do not yet have specialists. In addition, there are several species that are culturally important which have been included in our list.

On finalising species selection, several research methods were employed to gather the information for the text: The most important was interviews and/or correspondence with individuals who are specialists in the various groups and know their current conservation status (refer Acknowledgements). In addition, library and archival research was undertaken using books, scientific journals, Fiji museum journals, magazines and the internet.

Much of the information gathered here is known to very few people in the scientific and conservation field. This is Fiji's first comprehensive list of some of our endangered species to be publicised, and be made known to students and teachers. 
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New Zealandís Forest and Bird, have recently launched their ĎBird of the Yearí campaign with a focus on seabirds. Our own Fiji Petrel has infiltrated the 29 Ďkiwií hopefuls. Over the next three weeks our Kacau ni Gau needs you, your friends, all of Fiji, Fijians everywhere and Fijians at heart to go to the website http://www.birdoftheyear.org.nz/ and cast their vote (note a confirmation email will need to be acknowledged which may appear in your junk mail).
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Located in the Province of Cakaudrove, the island of Taveuni is Fijiís 3rd largest island. Since the 1980s, the National Trust and the Fiji Department of Forests have been advocating for the merger of the Ravilevu Nature Reserve, Taveuni Forest Reserve and the Bouma National Heritage Park to form the Taveuni National Park. In 1993 the Fiji Department of Environment proposed the ĎIntegrated Development Plan for Taveunií supporting this combination to better promote the wilderness and cultural features of Taveuni to harness Taveuniís tourism market to its full potential. The Fiji Department of Forests, National Protected Areas Committee, Cakaudrove Provincial Council and NatureFiji-MareqetiViti, with support from the Critical Ecosystems Partnership Fund are revitalising efforts to bring Taveuni's three current protected areas into one Taveuni National Park: 1. Taveuni Forest Reserve (FR). Declared in 1914. Size: 11, 160 HA 2. Ravilevu Nature Reserve (NR). Declared in 1959. Size: 4, 108 HA 3. Bouma National Heritage Park (BNHP). Established by covenant in 1990. 1, 417 HA. TAVEUNIíS WILDLIFE AND LANDSCAPE Much of Fijiís land and forest has now been impacted and modified by deforestation, commercial and subsistence agriculture, plantation timber production and/or invasive alien species. We must also remember the historic impacts of the first human settlement that resulted, for example, in the extinction of many species and conversion of dry forests to grasslands. Not only has Taveuni retained significant forest and wetland ecosystems across a full altitudinal range (ridge to reef), but also it has not been severely impacted by invasive species, in particular the mongoose. The absence of the mongoose from Fijiís third largest island has resulted in the retention not only of Taveuniís endemic fauna species but also Fijian endemics that have been extirpated or are highly threatened on Viti Levu and Vanua Levu. SPECIAL LANDSCAPES ON TAVEUNI Taveuniís outstanding landscape qualities are derived mainly from its tropical forest cover. From all points around the Taveuni coastline, there are views of the undisturbed, densely forested uplands. Frequently cloud and mist-capped, the rugged central range dominates the landscape with characteristic emergent volcanic cones. From the peaks of the central range descend the long symmetry of old lava flows covered with dense rainforest. Taveuni is one of the very few islands where the scale of negative land use impacts has been limited. But current trends of widespread soil degradation and encroachment into the reserves indeicate taht this is changing for the worse. The thriving agricultural industry of Taveuni can attribute its success to the Taveuni Forest Reserve which was established to ensure unlimited water supply and free ecosystem services to the people of Taveuni. While the Taveuni FR currently provides little monetary benefit to landowners, combined with the Ravilevu NR and Bouma National Heritage Park, the Taveuni National Park will build a strong imperative for ecotourism development. THE PROJECT Not until 2009 were landowners informed about plans which had been around for 30 years on possible Protected Areas development, and the potential of Taveuni's forests for conservation. If there is one conspicuous lesson of the lead up work of the Sovi Basin Protected Area project, it was that there was no real progress until the landowners and the Fijian administration took up ownership of the process. Getting the landowners involved in the PA discussions is the main objective of this project.
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NFMV January 2014 Newsletter - #17
Good news to start the year, NFMV receives a grant to protect our logo - the rare forest conifer - Acmopyle sahniana