Niue

On 5th January 2004, Heta, a Category 5 tropical cyclone, struck Niue and widely devastated its N to NW exposed coastlines from Uluvehi to Alofi.

On 6 January 2004. cyclone Heta devastated much of the South Pacific island nation of Niue. Extensive damage was done to forest, particularly of the north- western sector, with many trees up-rooted and others stripped of branches and foliage. This report details our findings from a survey of Niue's birds and rodents during 3-19 September 2004 and compares these with results from a similar survey in September 1994.

During 10–21 September, quantitative surveys were carried out of birds and flying foxes using the same techniques as applied in earlier surveys, and searches carried out for a rare parrot and lizard. Bird counts showed that the lupe or Pacific imperial-pigeon population has recovered following a decline between 1994 and 2004 though the current hunting rate is considered unsustainable. Miti or Polynesian starling numbers have gradually declined over the period 1994–2012 which is a concern and hard to explain. Rat predation is a possible cause.

Invasive species are a major global threat to biodiversity and Pacific Islands are particularly vulnerable due to their isolation and relatively recent human occupation. Their native species cannot cope with predation or competition from new arrivals. Niue already suffers from the impact of invasive species that have arrived in the country. However there are many more devastating species that are not present but found in other countries of the region and every effort needs to be made to prevent their arrival.

Feral and wandering domestic pigs collectively cause significant environmental damage in Niue, chiefly to coconut crab populations and to seedling coconuts. They also cause significant economic damage to plantations and domestic gardens.