World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Nauru’s Nature Under Scrutiny

Nauru’s Nature Under Scrutiny

Nauru’s species and environment surveyed by world experts

One of the smallest countries in the world, Nauru, has had its marine and land species surveyed by a team of 12 international experts.

Having a land area of just under 22 square kilometres, Nauru is renowned for the phosphate that has seen two-thirds of the land being mined. This large scale industrial disruption has caused significant loss of land species and may have contributed to the introduction of many exotic species.

The team of experts arrived on the island on 17 June for 10 days of intensive survey work. The team was assembled and coordinated by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) in collaboration with the Government of Nauru and Conservation International.

“SPREP is pleased to be able to put together these scientists all of them are well recognised in their field of expertise, to assist with surveying of marine and terrestrial fauna and flora of Nauru,” said Bruce Jeffries of SPREP and the team coordinator.

“What the scientists have been doing is a rapid survey or assessment of as many species found in Nauru. This is what we call a biodiversity rapid assessment or BIORAP,” Jeffries added.

“The Nauru Government is pleased to work with SPREP on this survey, which will include staff from Department of Commerce, Industries and Environment, Nauru Fisheries Authority and the Nauru Rehabilitation Corporation.  They will assist and learn from these experts on some of the survey techniques,” said Asterio Appi, Nauru Project Coordinator.

The scientists from the United States, Hawaii, Samoa, New Zealand and Australia are looking at birds, lizards, insects, plants, corals and fishes, as well as the general state of the environment.

“The coral reefs of Nauru are one of the healthiest in the world, with very high live coral cover that is comparable or much higher that Australia’s Great Barrier Reef,” said Dr Sheila McKenna the coral reef health expert.

The team found one skink that has not been recorded from the island which could be a new introduction or a new species that has not yet been described.  Backlin is hoping that further genetic research will provide the answer on the skink’s status.

“Our surveys confirm six skink species for Nauru and an exotic snake that may have recently been introduced through soil or pot-plants,” said Dr Adam Backlin, the reptile expert.

The endemic and charismatic Nauru reed warbler is being surveyed with other birds to ensure that the numbers are in a healthy condition.

“There are also concerns on the declining population of noddies, as they are being targeted for food. So an important part of my work is to assess the state of the birds and suggest some options for their recovery,” explained Rebecca Stirnemann, the bird expert.

“Locals were telling us that they used to harvest on average 100 birds a night, but now they are lucky if they catch five. It shows that the harvesting is causing the numbers of noddies to decline. Everyone needs to do something now to stop the loss of Nauru noddies,” added Stirnemann.

The preliminary findings from the survey will be presented to the community prior to the team’s departure from Nauru and a detailed report will be given to the Nauru Government once the findings are analysed.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

South Sudan: UN Agencies Reach More Than Half A Million

South Sudan: UN Agencies Reach More than Half a Million People with Life-Saving Aid More>>

Israeli Plans To Expand Its Illegal Settlement Enterprises

PLO Executive Committee member, Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, strongly denounced Israeli plans to expand its illegal settlement enterprise by approving the construction of 2,561 units in the settlement of Givat Hamatos. More>>

ALSO:

Ecuador: Villagers Plan To Seize Chevron's $106M Arbitral Award

QUITO, ECUADOR, Sep. 30 /CSRwire/ - In what could be a huge boost to their campaign to force Chevron to comply with a $9.5 billion environmental judgment in Ecuador, rainforest villagers plan to enforce a court order directing them to take possession ... More>>

World Grossly Ill-Prepared To Deal Ebola Outbreak

Leaders from Sierra Leone and Liberia, the two countries, along with Guinea at the frontlines of the battle against the unprecedented Ebola outbreak in West Africa, urged the General Assembly today ensure the United Nations mounted a stronger, better coordinated response “to end this grave threat to our collective survival.”More>>

ALSO:

  • Save The Children - Save the Children Builds Its First Ebola Treatment Centre


  • Israel’s Netanyahu Warns Against ‘Militant Islam’

    29 September 2014 – From the podium of the General Assembly today Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned the world of the grave threat he said it faced from militant Islam’s desire to dominate the planet, be they Sunni extremists or ... More>>

    Deputy PM of Syria Victims Of ISIL Brutality 'Waiting On Us To Act'

    As the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militant began carrying their slaughter in the Middle East, “they might have surprised many of the countries present here, but not…us,” the Deputy Prime Minister of Syria told the United Nations General Assembly, underscoring today that the time has come for the world to stand united and tackle the threat head-on.More>>

    Not A Single Child Untouched By Recent Gaza Conflict

    There is not a single child who has not been adversely affected by the recent conflict in Gaza, where children suffer from bedwetting, difficulties in sleeping, nightmares, a loss of appetite, and display more aggressive behaviour at school, an independent United Nations human rights expert said todayMore>>


    Ebola: UN Readies To Start Work As Death Toll Surpasses 3,000

    Ebola response: medical supplies, including protective equipment and essential medicine, are loaded onto trucks at the Lungi International Airport in Freetown, capital of Sierra Leone. Photo: UNICEF/Sulaiman Stephens More>>

    Get More From Scoop

     
     
     
     
     
    World
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news