Natewa/Tunuloa Peninsula

Year of compilation: 2016

Key biodiversity
This IBA supports seven of the nine subspecies endemic to Vanua Levu. The peninsula is also ornithologically unusual in having no Giant Forest Honeyeaters or Blue-crested Broadbills which are otherwise widespread across Vanua Levu and Taveuni. A1 Globally threatened species * Friendly Ground-dove (VU) – often seen * Silktail (NT) – a high proportion of the Natewa/Tunuloa subspecies L. v. kleinschmidti A2 Restricted-range species 21 species (out of 21 on Natewa peninsula and 24 on Vanua Levu), including all three endemic to Vanua Levu and Taveuni.

Non-bird biodiversity: There have been no systematic surveys of any biodiversity groups except for birds in the IBA.

Habitat and land use
This IBA covers the largest tracts of remaining old growth forest on Natewa/Tunuloa, a large peninsula on the south of Vanua Levu. The IBA is mostly lowland tropical rainforest extending along the central ridge of the peninsula, including many steep slopes with stunted or montane forest. It contains the largest remaining stands of unlogged forest but also includes adjacent areas of logged forest making one large contiguous forest. The IBA is bounded by more highly degraded forest, mostly forest which has been logged heavily in recent years, mahogany plantations and agriculture. 

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Forestry; Agriculture; Invasive Alien Species

Conservation responses/actions for key biodiversity
The Natewa/Tunuloa peninsula has suffered extensive logging which continues around the IBA. Logging is often unsustainable, leading to increased numbers of invasive alien species as well as degraded forest. Logging is more of a threat to the gentler southern slopes. Extensive areas of native forest have also been cleared for mahogany plantations but hopefully this practice has now been discontinued. Forest birds can be found in tracts of native forest along watercourses and on steeper slopes within logged forest and mahogany plantations, but their survival is dependent on maintenance of these native trees. Agriculture is also encroaching into the forest as there are very limited areas of flat land on the peninsula not converted into coconut plantations. The IBA is the source of all rivers and drinking water for villages along the peninsula. The impacts of unsustainable logging on drinking water quality, marine resources in Natewa Bay and other environmental problems have lead a number of the mataqali in at least four villages around the IBA to seek assistance for forest conservation. The impacts of invasive alien species on the birds are unknown but, as with all sites on Vanua Levu, mongoose are likely to be significant predators of birds, their eggs and chicks. The Savusavu area is becoming popular with tourists and the improved road to Natewa/Tunuloa is opening tourism opportunities for the peninsula.

Protected areas
Unprotected. Site of National Significance.

Land ownership
The land tenure includes parts of 68 Native Lands (totalling about 20,506 ha), two Freehold Lands (about 320 ha) and two Crown Scheduled Lands (about 246 ha).

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Natewa/Tunuloa Peninsula. Downloaded from on 28/05/2023.