Nakanacagi Bat Santuary
Fiji’s First Bat Sanctuary
The Nakanacagi Cave is located in Dreketi District, Macuata Province and is the only known maternity colony of the globally endangered Fijian Free-tailed bat (Chaerephon bregullae).The bats roost and breed in the Nakanacagi Cave, which is also the only known roost in Fiji. Based on the best scientific data available, this single roost represents over 95% of the species’ global population.
The Fijian Free-tailed Bats are considered a source of food locally, however outreach efforts have led to a commitment to cease bat consumption. Additional threats to the bat cave and surrounding forests include erosion and deforestation. Previous logging and frequent burning has led to the degradation of some areas of the native forest increasing the forest vulnerability to the strong winds accompanying tropical cyclones.
The National Trust of Fiji worked closely with scientific partners NatureFiji-MareqetiViti, the Institute of Applied Science, and Bat Conservation International, to secure funding from by the Rainforest Trust to fully purchase the Nakanacagi Bat Sanctuary and in July 2018, a dedication ceremony for the sanctuary was led by the Paramount Chief of the Province of Macuata, Ratu Wiliame Katonivere. By the end of 2019, the area of the cave was fully purchased by the National Trust of Fiji with funding provided by both the Rainforest Trust and Bat Conservation International.
This newest site to Fiji’s list of protected areas, and the first bat sanctuary in Fiji, helps contribute towards the protection of this endangered species and the restoration of a Tropical Dry Forest habitat.
Bat Conservation International, Rainforest Trust and NTF Officials with the Tui Macuata at the Dedication Ceremony.
Common Name: FIJIAN FREE-TAILED BAT
Scientific Name: Chaerephon bregullae
Conservation Status: Endangered (IUCN Red List)
The Fijian Free-tailed Bat is one of only two insectivorous bat species found on Fiji (and one of only six total bat species found on the islands).
The Fijian Free-tailed Bat is endemic to the islands of Fiji, and has only been observed on two islands (Vanua Levu and Taveuni) in recent years. The only known maternity roost of Fijian Free-tailed Bats is found on the island of Vanua Levu.
Population counts vary, but it is estimated that only 2,000-7,000 individuals in the entire world.
Fijian free-tailed bats roosting inside the Nakanacagi Cave. (Source Bat Conservation International)
Fijian Free-tailed Bats are insectivorous and have been observed foraging above in the forest canopy, in coastal habitats, and along the edge of cloud forests. Many details about their foraging habits and life history are still unknown.
Nakanacagi Bat Santuary is not open to recreational visitors.
Research requests may be submitted on the Research Permit Application Form.