Colouring-in book about Fijian birds to save them

This video says about itself:

The collared lory (Phigys solitarius) is a monotypic species of parrot in the Psittaculidae family, and it is the only species in the genus Phigys. It is endemic to the islands of Fiji. It is the only Fijian rainforest bird to adapt to urban landscapes and can be found in urban Suva. Measuring 20 cm (8 in), it has bright red underparts and face with a purple crown and greenish upper parts. Males and females are similar in plumage, although the latter have a paler crown.

From BirdLife:

Colouring-in to save the wonderful birds of Fiji

By Mike Britton, Wed, 14/10/2015 – 21:20

When people think of a Pacific paradise it is often the images of Fiji that come to mind. It is a wonderful place with untouched forests and exotic wildlife. But protecting nature and birds can only happen with the support of the local communities – and with resources. BirdLife’s Fiji partner, NatureFiji-MareqetiViti is working with these communities to help them protect the nature that is special to them and develop sustainable livelihoods to support them into the future.

Growing the appreciation of nature in communities is the secret to saving it. That is the motive behind the Colour-In Paradise, an adult colouring-in book developed by Anne and Cathy O’Brien. Adult colouring books are hugely popular for their stress relieving properties and their ability to bring out our inner child. The aim is that as people colour the beautiful hand drawn impressions of Fiji’s unique creatures, they will not only relax and have fun as they de-stress, but also fall in love with the animals and plants they are colouring.

The books will have 20 intricate drawings of Fiji’s beautiful flora and fauna and be perfect for anyone interested in wildlife or looking to make a difference. The money from the sale of books and associated products will go towards helping many of the creatures that are being coloured in: the Fijian flying fox, red throated lorikeet, Fiji petrel and crested iguana to name a few.

Anne and Cathy are raising £4000 to enable them publish the book, postcards and prints. You can help my making a small donation. Please visit the site below and make a contribution to this different but fun initiative.

How Adult Coloring Books Can Bring Out the Artist in You: here.

Saving wildlife in Fiji, 2011

Wedge-tailed shearwater

From BirdLife:

Invasive species Cast Away in Fiji

Thu, Dec 1, 2011

Goats and rats have been removed from two Fijian islands in a joint operation conducted by BirdLife International’s Fiji Programme and the National Trust of Fiji aimed at protecting unique wildlife on Monuriki and Kadomo. “This is a massive achievement which will provide benefits for the iguanas, birds, plants and people of these islands”, said Sialesi Rasalato from BirdLife International.

The Mamanuca island chain is a well-known tourist destination and nationally important for some unique and threatened wildlife. The islands of Monuriki and Kadomo are among Fiji’s most critical islands for burrowing seabirds and endemic iguana.

Monuriki was the location for the Tom Hanks film Cast Away which depicts his successful attempts to survive on the island following a plane crash. In real life, the 41 hectare island is home to less than a hundred Critically Endangered Fijian Crested Iguana Brachylophus vitiensis which are found on only a few islands, in the dry western side of the Fijian archipelago. Both Monuriki and Kadomo also provide vital habitat for nationally significant breeding colonies of Wedge-tailed Shearwater Puffinus pacificus. Thousands of the fish-eating seabirds have excavated burrows across the islands in which to rear their chicks, and can be heard making their strange ‘baby-crying’ calls after dark.

In 1999 and 2003, the National Trust of Fiji surveyed a few islands in the Mamanuca Group detecting a rapid decline in the iguana population as a result of major habitat degradation by goats. In 2009, BirdLife International undertook surveys that showed that rats and goats were also posing severe threats to the breeding seabirds on both islands.

Fiji shark conservation helps

This video says about itself:

Bull Shark feeding in Fiji – Benedict Cumberbatch narrates, South Pacific – BBC

Dec 26, 2012

Fishermen of Fiji make more money feeding sharks for tourists then killing the sharks and selling the meat. The divers at Bega Lagoon get a rare treat as a massive bull shark, nicknamed Scarface, comes to feed.

From Wildlife Extra:

Fiji Marine reserve ‘swarming with sharks’

Study by WCS and University of Western Australia finds reef sharks two to four times more abundant in a marine reserve compared to nearby fished areas

July 2013. Fiji’s largest marine reserve contains more sharks than surrounding areas that allow fishing, evidence that marine protected areas can be good for sharks, according to researchers from the Wildlife Conservation Society and the University of Western Australia.

2-400% more sharks

In a study of the no-take reserve’s shark populations, the researchers found that the number of sharks in Namena Reserve-located on the southern coast of Fiji’s Vanua Levu Island-is two to four times greater than in adjacent areas where fishing is permitted.

The researchers conducted their study during a three-week period in 2009 in Namena, a 60-square-kilometer reserve established in 1997 and managed by local communities. In order to survey the sharks, Goetze and the WCS Fiji team used stereo baited remote underwater video systems to record data at eight sites within the reserve and eight outside the reserve at both shallow and deeper depths (between 5-8 metres, and 25-30 metres respectively).

“The study not only provides evidence that Fiji’s largest marine reserve benefits reef sharks, but achieves this in a non-destructive manner using novel stereo video technology,” said Goetze, the lead author of the paper.

Five different species of reef shark

The 60-minute video segments taken captured images of five different species of reef shark, providing the researchers with data on shark abundance. In addition, Goetze and the research team also were able to estimate the length and size of the sharks whenever the animals were within eight metres of the camera, enabling them to generate estimates on biomass for Namena Reserve.

Fewer sharks in fishing zones

Outside the reserve, in areas where fishing is permitted, the researchers found fewer sharks. The researchers note that, because local Fiji communities traditionally considered sharks to be sacred, eating them is typically taboo. The most likely driver of higher shark densities within the reserve, assert the authors, is the significantly higher availability of prey fish that WCS researchers have found within the reserve boundaries compared with adjacent areas.

As demand for shark products grows, higher prices are driving some locals to catch sharks, while Fiji shark populations are also vulnerable to foreign fishing fleets. Worldwide, increasing rates of harvesting are leading to the depletion of many of the world’s shark species.

Positive effect of marine reserves

“The news from Fiji gives us solid proof that marine reserves can have positive effects on reef shark populations,” said Dr. Caleb McClennen, Director of WCS’s Marine Program. “Shark populations are declining worldwide due to the demand for shark products, particularly fins for the Asian markets. We need to establish management strategies that will protect these ancient predators and the ecosystems they inhabit.”

The study was made possible by the generous support of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, and the University of Western Australia (UWA) Marine Science Honours program.

The study appears in a recent edition of the journal Coral Reefs. The authors include: Jordan Goetze of the Wildlife Conservation Society and the University of Western Australia; and Laura Fullwood of the University of Western Australia.

Fiji birds, new report

This video is called Birds of Fiji.

From BirdLife:

State of Fiji’s birds report launched

Fri, May 31, 2013

Fiji’s first ever State of Birds report ‘Fiji: State of Birds 2013’ has been launched by NatureFiji-MareqetiViti with the assistance of BirdLife International, the Department of the Environment and local ornithologists.

Birds are by far Fiji’s most conspicuous form of terrestrial wildlife – they are inspirational, they sing, they are fairly easy to observe and identify, and there is a limited number of species.

Biodiversity conservation in Fiji requires the support of landowners and the populace, who can better understand, participate in and support conservation if they are familiar with and knowledgeable about the species of concern.

The new report provides an overview of the issues and critical considerations facing Fiji’s birds and emphasises how useful birds are as flagships for other elements of our biodiversity. Birds have long been used as indicators of the state of the world’s ecosystems, providing insights into habitat loss, deterioration, pollution and, increasingly, for climate change.

All of Fiji’s birds are special but some are particularly important. These are our endemic birds – those that are found only in the Fiji Islands. Fiji has 27 endemic birds, comprising nearly half of our landbirds. There is just one endemic seabird, the Critically Endangered Fiji Petrel.

To emphasise how special our avifauna is, there are few countries in the world with a higher proportion of endemic birds than Fiji. Indeed the island of Kadavu, with four endemic birds, has the highest number of endemic birds per land area in the world.

“While our state of knowledge of Fiji’s birds is better than for many other groups, it is still relatively poor, and we have yet to introduce any form of national monitoring”, said Dick Watling, the report’s author.

“Some species such as the Fiji Petrel and the Red-throated Lorikeet [both Critically Endangered] remain amongst the rarest birds in the world. We have a good idea of the reasons why they are so rare – largely due to invasive predators but there are no national resources to undertake conservation action”.

Migrant shorebirds and voyaging seabirds are a distinctive and culturally important component of the Fijian avifauna. In September each year, the Bar-tailed Godwits arrive at Suva Point. As far as we know, they fly direct from Alaska to Suva, a non-stop journey of eight to nine days. Some fly direct from Alaska to New Zealand, an 11-day non-stop flight.

The migrations that our dilio (Pacific Golden Plover), Bar-tailed Godwits and other shorebirds undertake twice a year are marvels of the natural world.

“Unfortunately, one of the most important feeding sites for these shorebirds – the mudflats of Suva Point are under consideration for reclamation”, noted Dr Watling. “Where then will these shorebirds rest and prepare for their return journey?”

‘Fiji: State of Birds 2013′ is the latest in a growing collection of national BirdLife reports from around the globe. These publications draw on national survey and monitoring data to provide a detailed and authoritative insight into the status of and pressures faced by birds and biodiversity in specific countries, with inspiring examples of conservation actions being undertaken by BirdLife Partners and others.

To download the ’Fiji: State of Birds 2013, please click here (pdf. 4.9 mb). To find out more about BirdLife’s State of the nation’s birds report, please click here.

The British Government have launched a new BirdLife project to conserve Fiji’s forest. “It is a great pleasure for us at the High Commission, together with our partners at BirdLife International, to the launch a new three-year project here in Fiji,” said Mr Dan Salter – Deputy High Commissioner of the United Kingdom to Fiji: here.