As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Monday 1 July 2013

Birds under threat

FIJI'S native endemic birds remain under threat from introduced species, particularly the invasive mongoose.

According to the State of Birds Report 2013, published by NatureFiji-MareqetiViti (NFMV), Fiji is the only country in the world, as far as the organisation knows, which has two species of introduced mongoose.

These species go by their scientific names Herpestes javanicus and H.fuscus.

The mongooses not only pose a threat to the country's native endangered birds, but also reptiles and native frogs.

"Introduced predators are one of the major contributors of species extinctions on islands.

They also pose a threat to economic development, human health and food security," the report stated.

As a result of this, birds such as the Jungle Fowl (Toaniveikau), the Banded Rail (Bici) and the Purple Swamphen (Teri) can no longer be found on Viti Levu or Vanua Levu because of the introduction of the mongoose.

"Fiji's birds evolved in the islands without any mammalian predators, so it's not surprising that when introduced, these have had a devastating impact.

"There are a few forest and hence biodiversity-rich islands such as Taveuni, Kadavu, Gau, Ovalau and Koro that retain sizeable areas of biodiversity-rich forest without the mongoose.

Preventing mongooses from spreading to these islands is of the highest priority."

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