Melania Segaidina became a Conservation Officer with NatureFiji-MareqetiViti in October 2015, and currently leads our Invasive Species program. Her responsibilities include: assessing the feasibility of rat eradication from priority seabird islands (Yabu and Vuro Island, Kadavu); monitoring invasive species activity (rats, feral cats and wild pigs) around priority forest-based sea bird sites (for the Critically Endangered Fiji Petrel and Collared Petrel on Gau Island); assessing community perception of invasive species, specifically for the presence of mongoose (Ovalau island); assessing the presence/absence of the Tahiti Petrel on Taveuni; and assessing community use of natural resources in relation to biodiversity and perception of the importance of forests. Melania also leads on certain aspects of advocacy for the organisation, including club activities, and developing the capacity of guides for forest-based eco-tourism. Periodically, Melania represents NF-MV on the Fiji Invasive Species Taskforce (National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan) and on the Fiji Civil Society Organisation Platform for REDD Plus.
Melania initially joined the NatureFiji-MareqetiViti team as an intern in early 2015, assisting with workshop and field survey logistics. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Environmental Science from the University of the South Pacific in 2014. During her fieldwork, she works closely with experts in other fields, such as birds, to continue her professional learning.