VA005
Ambae


Year of compilation: 2010

Site description
The island of Ambae is a massive shield volcano and the summit is largely deforested above 1400 m as a result of ongoing volcanic activity. There are numerous villages on the lower and middle slopes of Ambae, up to about 500 m. The upper slopes have wet rainforest in the north and east and drier forests on the other side of the island, in the rain shadow area. 

The island  rises to 1496 metres at Mt. Lombenben with another notable peak, Mt Voutnavouele, being 954m asl. Last eruption occurred in 2005.


Key biodiversity
The upland area of the island is a stronghold for Palm lorikeet and a regular site for rusty-winged starling.

Non-bird biodiversity: The Duviara Conservation Area contains 12 endemic plants and an endemic freshwater fish. Conservation status of these species is not known.



Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Ambae is quite densely populated, although people mostly live at sea level and the highest gardens are no more than 600 or 700m. Volcanic eruptions and cyclones provide ongoing natural threats. There is no information on the presence of any invasive species.

Protected areas
The Duviara Conservation Area was established in 1996. It protects about 26 hectares. It is small in area, but is surrounded by large expanses of similar, untouched, rainforest around Ambae's summit.

Habitat and land use
Much of the summit and upper slope region is covered in dense, arborescent scrub, with occasional groves of trees or tree islands and scattered emergent trees. This represents a variously disturbed, primarily successional type of rainforest, a result of various eruptions over the years. Further down the slope the scrub changes to medium stature forest.

Land ownership
The conservation area is owned by Paul Vuhu.


Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2021) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Ambae. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 03/12/2021.