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Two small, remote Solomon Islands – Teanu and Tinakula – are incredibly important refuges for endemic wildlife and as such are recognized as Key Biodiversity Areas, forming part of the East Melanesian Islands Biodiversity Hotspot.
Teanu is almost entirely covered in undisturbed primary forest, which provides vital habitat for rare species such as the Critically Endangered Vanikoro Flying Fox. Tinakula is a refuge for many IUCN Red Listed species since the neighboring Nendo Island is being negatively impacted by logging and mining, threatening species that are shared between the islands.
To preserve these indispensable habitats and safeguard their unique biodiversity, Rainforest Trust is working with local partner OceansWatch-Solomon Islands to permanently protect the two islands through the creation of Teanu Island Biodiversity Reserve and Tinakula Island Biodiversity Reserve.
Teanu and Tinakula Islands, Solomon Islands
Key Species (Based on IUCN Red List)
Vanikoro Flying Fox (CR), Temotu Flying Fox (EN), Santa Cruz Ground-dove (EN), Fijian Kauri Pine (EN), Palm Lorikeet (VU)
Primary tropical rainforest, regenerating rainforest
Logging, invasive species
Create Teanu Island Biodiversity Reserve and Tinakula Island Biodiversity Reserve
Price per Acre
Recent surveys on Teanu by OceansWatch confirmed the presence of the Vanikoro Flying Fox, which had not been seen since it was first collected before 1930. It is assessed as Critically Endangered due to its presumed small population and restricted range.
This flying fox is a solitary creature, roosting individually or occasionally in pairs primarily in the understory of trees that provide food such as coconuts or mangos. The island also contains Endangered Fijian Kauri Pine trees whose numbers are in continuous decline as its wood is highly sought after for construction material. Similarly, Tinakula also contains endemic bird and mammal species. Surveys conducted in 2014 and 2015 confirmed the presence of several IUCN Red Listed species, including the Endangered Temotu Flying Fox and the Endangered Santa Cruz Ground-Dove, whose population has decreased due to habitat loss and hunting. OceansWatch staff recently captured the very first photographs of this threatened dove.
Teanu forms part of the Vanikoro chain of the Solomon Islands that has been heavily impacted by logging for timber.
Fortunately, Teanu is the most intact and pristine of the region’s islands, but is in dire need of protection. For example, the Vanikoro Flying Fox has lost almost its entire habitat across the island chain, making Teanu the last safe refuge for the species. Similarly, the Fijian Kauri Pine, an Endangered tree species, is wholly dependent on Teanu as it is being heavily logged on other islands. On Tinakula, the main threat is the possible introduction of invasive species. Currently no cats, rats or wild pigs exist on the island, miraculously making it the only predator-free island in the Solomon Islands. It is urgent that Tinakula be protected as soon as possible to maintain its unique status, as the introduction of any invasive species could have a devastating impact on the island’s populations of threatened wildlife.
All the landowners of these two islands are indigenous and support the creation of these protected areas.
The customary landowners of Teanu are primarily subsistence farmers and live in the village of Buma, which consists of approximately 150 individuals. Rainforest Trust’s local partner has been training members of this community to survey bat and bird populations in the area and how to act as guides for future ecotourism opportunities. Following the eruption of Tinakula in 1976, most of the traditional island landowners now live on the nearby Malo and Niupani islands. The majority of these landowners are subsistence farmers, and Rainforest Trust’s local partner has established a virgin coconut oil program in Malo Island as a sustainable income generating program.
Thanks to the generous support of our Board members and other supporters who cover all of our operating expenses, Rainforest Trust is able to allocate 100% of donations to conservation action. No board member receives financial benefit and our staff salaries are modest.
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