BirdLife EBA Fiji Factsheet

General characteristics Included in this EBA are all the Republic of Fiji’s islands apart from Rotuma (isolated to the north) which is treated as a Secondary Area (s127). The archipelago comprises high volcanic islands (reaching 1,324 m at Mt Tomanivi on Viti Levu), as well as atolls and raised coral limestone islands.

On the southern and eastern sides of the larger islands, the native vegetation is lowland and montane rain forest, with cloud forest at highest altitudes; on the northern and western sides (which are in the rain shadow), dry forest and open woodland (now largely replaced by fire-climax grassland) formerly occurred at lower elevations. Forest also occurs on some of the smaller islands, though many have been cleared, and mangroves are found to varying extents along many coasts. Cyclones and landslides occur regularly in Fiji and have moulded forests in such a way that secondary associations are a widespread and integral part of the ecosystems (Collins et al. 1991).

Rugged rocky coastal terrain hard to get around in Fiji

Restricted-range species This EBA ranks third for numbers of restricted-range bird species in the Pacific. All the restricted-range species occur in forest and some occur in man-modified habitats. There are few altitudinal limitations to the distribution of the restricted-range birds and, in most cases, any apparent such restriction relates to availability of remaining suitable habitat (D. Watling in litt. 1993).
Many species are widely distributed through the islands, but two are confined to Vanua Levu and Taveuni, three to Viti Levu and four to Kadavu. Mayrornis versicolor is restricted to Ogea in the Lau archipelago, occurring on the two principal islands-Ogealevu (13 km2) and Ogeadriki (5 km2)-and on the smaller nearby Dakuiyanuya. Several of the more-widespread restricted-range species are shared with the Samoan Islands (EBA 203) and/or other Central Polynesian Secondary Areas (s127-s131), and a few occur to the west in Vanuatu (EBA 200).

The taxonomic treatment of the three Prosopeia parrots, splendens, personata and tabuensis, followed here is that of Rinke (1989) and Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993), although Holyoak and Thibault (in prep.) do not accept Rinke’s novel arrangement and follow the classification of Amadon (1942), as did Forshaw (1989), and recognize only two species, P. personata and P. tabuensis (the latter having five subspecies, including splendens).

In addition to the restricted-range land birds, one seabird, Fiji Petrel Pterodroma macgillivrayi, is known only from Gau, where the number of recent observations has risen to eight, but where the breeding grounds, presumed to be in forest, have still to be located (Watling 1986, Watling and Gillison 1993).

  • Priority:  critical
  • Habitat loss: major
  • Knowledge: incomplete
  • Area: 18000 km2
  • Altitude: lowland/mountain 0 – 1300m


BirdLife International 2003
BirdLife’s online World Bird Database: the site for bird conservation. 
Version 2.0. Cambridge, UK: BirdLife International.

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