5th Day of Christmas with NatureFiji-MareqetiViti

5th Day of Christmas with NatureFiji-MareqetiViti

On the fifth day of Christmas NFMV shared with me:

Five acmopyles,
Four calling kulas
Three flying foxes
Two friendly ground doves
And a fruit dove in a mango tree.

Have you even heard of an acmopyle? If not, you are NOT alone as most people haven’t. Acmopyle is a very special plant. In 2015, the Fiji Acmopyle became our mascot on World Biodiversity Day on May 22nd!

Our mascot, made of 100% local, recycled materials with our chief guest at the 2015 World Biodiversity Day Celebrations and heads of the landowning clans from Namosi and Navosa.
Our mascot, made of 100% local, recycled materials with our chief guest at the 2015 World Biodiversity Day Celebrations and heads of the landowning clans from Namosi and Navosa.

So, what is an acmopyle?
• The acmopyle is our NFMV emblem!
• The Fiji Acmopyle, a distant relative of our modern day pines, is a Gondwanaland relic from MILLIONS of years ago, whose presence in Fiji is an unexplained mystery
• Its Latin name is Acmopyle sahniana
• It is also known as Drautabua. This name comes from the shape of its leaflets which are like that of a tooth of a whale (tabua) (Tuiwawa 1999).
• It is critically endangered and likely to be seriously affected by climate change
• It is a gymnosperm belonging to the Pine family.
• Acmopyles are quite skinny trees with a straight tree trunk, (up to 14 cm in diameter)
• It can grow to 8-12 m in height in the forest BUT in disturbed sites, only reach a height of 4 metres.
• Acmopyles only have a few branches and most of these are in the top half of the tree.
• The leaves are dark green and look waxy on the upper surface but dry and whitish underneath
• There are two rows of short leaves on each stem and each stem comes from the trunk.
• Like other pine trees, it has cones.
• Some of our birds and bats probably feed on its fleshy seeds
• It is pollinated by wind and likes breezy ridge tops

In 2014 – 2015, we were fortunate to receive the support of the Save Our Species fund to help us create awareness about the Fiji Acmopyle!

We visited schools in Naitasiri, Navosa and Namosi as part of this awareness campaign. Our mascot (Drautabua) and endangered friends will be visiting more schools in the near future! Let us know if you would like a visit!

Team Drautabua at the 2015 Island Chill Suva Marathon on August 4th.
Team Drautabua at the 2015 Island Chill Suva Marathon on August 4th.

Join us tomorrow to find out about our only Fijian duck

 The Fiji Acmopyle by our talented volunteer Anne O′Brien, who also created our mascot.

The Fiji Acmopyle by our talented volunteer Anne O′Brien, who also created our mascot.