Tongoa and Ambae

Site description (2010 baseline):

Site location and context
Tongoa is the largest island in the Shepherd Island group. It is well populated. The interior is densely forested with a summit elevation of 319m. Emae is in the middle of the Shepherd Island group. There are two volcanic cones in the middle of the island with highest elevation being 644m.

Key biodiversity
The site is selected because of its notable populations of Vanuatu Megapode and Royal Parrotfinch. A range of other restricted range species are also present.

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Both islands are well populated with rapidly increasing numbers. this is exerting tremendous pressure on both islands' young ecological systems. Agricultural activities have led to clearance of forest. Cyclones degrade the forest. The islands lack protective barrier reefs, which make them vulnerable to climate variability. Severe coastal erosion is already being experienced. The potential for invasive aliens to cause damage will always remain a threat.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Tongoa and Ambae. Downloaded from on 27/09/2023.