NatureFiji-MareqetiViti Projects Live in 2012

The NFMV team enters 2012 with anticipation as several new projects begin implementation whilst others draw to an end over the year.

NatureFiji-MareqetiViti was all abuzz over the first few weeks of the new year, as our annual plan was developed and refined.

Kicking off the 2012 programme with our Annual Planning meet, the NFMV got straight into the work plan immediately after, beginning with setting up the NFMV office in Somosomo, Taveuni, from which the Taveuni Parks project will be run.

In total, NFMV will be running 11 live projects:

  1. Sago Palm Restoration (FAO)
  2. Navua Palm – Garrick Reserve (Thrigby Hall)
  3. Fiji Petrel searches (CEPF)
  4. Crested iguana translocation (Taronga Zoo)
  5. Arcadia NGO development (BL-I/ Arcadia)
  6. Kulawai searches and community training (CEPF)
  7. Vodafone WOD volunteership (Vodafone ATH)
  8. EU Invasives (EU)
  9. Rivers Fiji RAMSAR (Rivers Fiji)
  10. Taveuni Parks Community Awareness (CEPF)
  11. Yaqaga Iguana Surveys and Predator Control (IIF)
Fiji sago palms growing at the rehabilitated Culanuku site, a model for the FAO project.
Fiji sago palms growing at the rehabilitated Culanuku site, a model for the FAO project.

The Sago Palm project funded by the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) is a community-based restoration programme based at two sites: Wainawa in south-east Viti Levu and Savarekareka in north-east Vanua Levu.

The Thrigby Hall funded replanting scheme for the Navua Palm is part and parcel of the quarterly visits to the Garrick Reserve, where the insurance population of the endangered Navua Palm is maintained.

The search for Fiji Petrel burrows and nestlings will be comprehensive this year with the help of the two trained detector dogs (Bob and Tar). Nestlings found will be removed to artificial nest boxes within a predator free enclosure, where they can be monitored and kept safe.

Project MV09 will be drawing to an end this year with the last activity planned being the Namenalala Crested Iguana translocation, collaboration with the National Trust of Fiji.

Fiji Petrel officer, Eleazar O'Connor, in training.
Fiji Petrel officer, Eleazar O’Connor, in training.

The hunt for the Kulawai continues this year with several surveys with our community field guides slotted in during the first three months of 2012.

Anna Sahai’s one-year sponsorship by the Vodafone ATH World of Difference (WOD) programme will continue to bring us Anna’s valuable contributions to the many projects we implement, particularly with the development and set up of our library and electronic archive.

Our collaboration with Rivers Fiji to implement education and awareness activities under the RAMSAR convention on wetlands, has reached a formal status with Kelera Macedru working on these activities 40% of her time.

A Crested iguana from Yaqaga Island.
A Crested iguana from Yaqaga Island.

The Taveuni parks community awareness campaign will involve working the Department of Forestry to educate the local landowners surrounding the Ravilevu Nature Reserve and Bouma Forestry Reserve about issues, such as illegal agricultural encroachment and firewood extraction.

The Yaqaga Iguana project, funded by the International Iguana Foundation (IIF), will be more comprehensive this year as we intensify our efforts to remove cats from the island and widen the search for these unique iguanas.

So all in all a busy year ahead for NFMV!