Resilient coral reefs in the Northern Lau Group

A team of Fijian scientists from the Vatuvara Foundation and Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) partnered together and embarked last year on an expedition to survey coral reefs in the remote islands of Fiji’s Northern Lau Group. The marine survey report has just come out detailing the results from this research initiative, and will be used to support efforts to preserve coral reef ecosystems and safeguard these unique waters.

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Katy Miller
Vatuvara Island: A Haven for Threatened Species

Many of the islands we have explored in northern Lau remain much as they were during the days of Captain Cook’s early exploration – untouched and unparalleled in beauty.

Originally, the islands of the Lau Group were formed from a volcanic island arc along the Lau Ridge. Around 5.5 million years ago the active volcanoes that formed the islands underwent a period of subsidence and the Lau Ridge became covered by shallow water reef limestone. The geology of these islands now comprises both volcanic and reef-limestone rock.

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Katy Miller
Why Weedy Species Matter on Coral Reefs

Periodic disturbances to coral reefs increase coral diversity by creating new space for new species to colonize. Shortly after a disturbance it is usually the “weedy” species like branching Pocillopora and Acropora species that come back first. Weedy species on reefs simply refers to fast growing corals that are quick to colonize a reef after a disturbance.

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Sangeeta Mangubhai
Impressive Lagoonal Coral Formations in a Community ‘Tabu’ Area

Lagoons have always fascinated me. The size, shape, and length of a lagoon – and the number of channels that connect inner lagoonal waters with the open ocean – influence the types of coral communities that form within. Because of the amount of sand in the lagoon that sits between the two islands of Kaibu and Yacata in northern Lau Group, I had fairly minimal expectations about what I might see.

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Sangeeta Mangubhai
Signs of Adaptation to Climate Change

Colourful corals cover steep and gentle sloping reefs. Vibrant giant clams sit embedded along the reef flats. Curious reef sharks cruise along the edge of the reef while juvenile parrotfish weave through branching coral colonies. Turtles make swift escapes and a school of barracuda hover over the deep. All with a visibility of 40+ metres.

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Katy Miller
Exploring Coral Reefs in the Northern Lau Group

A team of made up of fish and coral experts recently set off for the untouched waters and lush limestone islands of the Northern Lau Group. Vatuvara Private Islands and the Vatuvara Foundation have partnered with WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) to conduct marine baseline surveys assessing the health of diverse coral reefs 12 months after the Category 5 Cyclone Winston passed through Fiji and caused wide-scale damage.

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