Fiji’s first website dedicated to documenting the country’s endangered species was launched in Suva on 25 April and is expected to help boost awareness in the country on its flora and fauna.
The website is the brainchild of Dr Richard Watling, Director of NatureFiji-MareqetiViti (NFMV), Fiji’s first and only national non-governmental organisation dedicated to nature conservation. Project Officer, Ms Nunia Thomas, managed the research and development for the website.
“The website will serve as a resource for students, teachers and for raising general awareness of the country’s rich biodiversity,” said Ms Thomas.
The preparation of the list of Fiji’s endangered species was based on several criteria, including whether they are already on The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™. The Red List is the world’s most comprehensive inventory of the global status of plant and animal species. The Red List is developed using stringent criteria and is proving to be an important tool for enabling policy makers worldwide to make decisions based on the conservation status of plant and animal species.
The NFMV website notes that not all the species noted as “endangered” on the website are the on the Red List. Inclusion in the Red List requires significant species assessment and evaluation by specialists; in the absence of available information on a species, no listing can be made. In countries such as Fiji, the necessary research and data on a species is often lacking. IUCN’s Regional Office in Oceania is currently working to address this issue, by updating information for developing a regional Red List of threatened species in the Pacific.
The NFMV website currently features 50 of the country’s most endangered plant and animal species. A CD-ROM version of the website was sent out to 800 of Fiji’s schools during the country’s Environment Week campaign: (“Learn, Live with and Save our Endangered Species”).
NatureFiji-MareqetiViti received funding from the British High Commission for the initiative.
For more information contact Nature Fiji Website