Fiji is a chain of islands just below the equator in the South Pacific. Fiji has a large amount of wildlife including 87 bird species. These creatures range through Fiji’s 332 islands. The Fiji Islands contain many habitats for birds such as shoreline, mountains and the tropical rain forests.
The threats to Fiji’s birds are varied. Some of them are:
- The Indian Mongoose, an introduced species, eats the eggs of ground birds.
- Logging takes away the birds’ habitat.
- Cats, rats and pigs along with the Indian mongoose eat the eggs of ground birds.
- People cutting down trees for farmland reduces the birds’ habitat.
- Ants, disease, and invasive plants are also a danger.
- Small-scale farming will eventually do much harm by reducing habitat.
- Fires to clear grass, for fun or by accident may wipe out entire Old Growth forests where birds live.
- Birds are taken from their homes in the rain forest for people to have as pets.
- People hunting sea bird eggs for food affects seabird populations.
- Roads for construction of cell phone towers make it easy for cats and other species get to remote mountain tops and other areas.
- Commercial fishing takes food away from seabirds.
Bird Life International, an international bird conservation group, suggests these different ideas to help Fiji’s birds:
- Prevent the mongoose from going to different islands in Fiji where they have not yet arrived.
- Work to make sure that land is managed in a way that is good for birds by adopting such measures as best practice logging and good wildfire management.
- Don’t cut down rainforests to make new plantations.
- Try to keep healthy parts of the rainforest together so the birds can have more space.
- Promote eco-tourism and other ways to make money from conservation of the forests.
- Keep new invasive alien species out areas where they have not yet arrived, like the mongoose.
- Help the Fijians’ understand why it is important to protect their rainforests and teach them how to do it.
- Study how rats, cats and pigs threaten birds and figure out how to lessen those impacts.
- Urgently find out how to save the endangered birds such as the Fiji Petrel and the Red-throated Lorikeet.
We have seen lots of birds already including the Fiji Goshawk, reef herons and the Fiji Parrotfinch. I hope that these Birds of Fiji stick around so that they can be seen by generations to come.
Source: I got my info. from Important Bird Areas in Fiji : Conserving Fiji’s National Heritage (ed. Vilikesa T. Masibalavu’s Guy Dutden,2006