Sovi Basin: Protected and a no-go zone

Sovi Bani in the highland of Naitasiri. Picture: SUPPLIED

A STATUS survey of endangered species at the Sovi Basin in Naitasiri, dubbed the region’s largest protected area, will be conducted by the National Trust of Fiji Islands.

This was confirmed by conservation officer Isaia Kumisailei.

He said they would rope in experts from the University of the South Pacific and senior staff members within the organisation to carry out the habitat assessment.

“This is the South Pacific’s largest protected area and every five to six years we carry out a biosecurity survey to carry out a study on the endangered species.

“The Sovi basin is a no-go zone area and we ensure that it’s protected from human activities because there are endangered species such as birds, mammals and tree species that we need to protect,” he said.

The area, Mr Kumisailei said, was listed on the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) tentative list since 1999 as a key biodiversity area by conservation international and an important area by birdlife international.

He said the protected area was surrounded by five villages within the Naitasiri Province and over the past years they had been carrying out awareness with villagers on the need to protect the area.

The protected area accommodates 634 plants, bird, insect, freshwater fish, herpeto-fauna and mammal endangered species.

The Sovi Basin is Fiji’s largest terrestrial protected area with 16,344 hectares of forest protected for conservation and it’s filled with undisturbed tropical forest vegetation, rivers and streams.

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