29 Oct 2007

Programme to save Fiji's endangered birds looks for community support

11:33 am on 29 October 2007

A programme is underway in Fiji aimed at saving endangered birds.

The Birdlife International Fiji Programme was set up in 2002 to save birds from extinction.

At the moment the organisation is focussing on seabird colonies to work out protected bird areas, how best to eradicate pests and how to get communities involved.

Vilikesa Masibalavu is the manager of Birdlife International Fiji, and says that part of their programme is to bring awareness to communities about the importance of conserving birds.

He says 80 per cent of Fiji is owned by communities so it's important for them to be involved in the programme.

"In Fiji birds is still regarded as, you know, there is not much interest in birds. So we are trying to create awareness among the people there that they are important. They are very good biological indicators."

Mr Masibalavu says they also help other islands in the Pacific region, such as New Caledonia, and this year, Samoa and the Cook Islands.