KBA Delineation The delineation of Key Biodiversity Areas was initially discussed in October/November 2008 with
local CI staff in Noumea, New Caledonia. After final project approval the grant agreement was
signed in March 2009. Due to longer preparation time and other delays, a first work plan meeting
was held in Cairns, November 2009 with CI. A first extensive visit had been undertaken to New
Caledonia in March/April 2010 (4 weeks), then July 2010 (two weeks) and a third time for over three
weeks in September/October 2010. After meeting associated partners, institutions and researchers
project outlines were defined, and a longer period of identifying, tracing and sourcing required data
followed. Then data formatting and processing took up a long period of work. This led to building a
textual relational database being linked to the prepared and thematically organised spatial data.
Queries and analysis could then be conducted in text and spatial form. Some analysis was conducted
using spatial databases where text and spatial data could be stored and linked and spatially queried
(e.g. postgres/postgis). Fire modelling was performed using statistical application (R, r-project.org).
KBA draft ideas were presented twice to stakeholders and partners and the concerns and views
incorporated into this analysis as much as possible.
Field trips to Province Nord were conducted as well as visits to various institutions and
organisations. The Government of Province Nord, the Direction du Développement Economique et
de l'Environnement, the Direction des Systemes d’Information Service Informations et Methodes,
and the Service de Forêt were very helpful in data retrieval and assistance in methodological
approaches . Other Gouvernment Institutions visited were Institut Agronomique néo-Calédonien
(investigation on mammals), University of New Caledonia (botanical information), WWF, IRD, and
independent environmental consultancies (such as Bureau d’Etudes et de Recherches biologiques, C.
Poellabauer). Province Sud was also very cooperative in providing advice and establishing contacts
to relevant information sources.
Through various intensive brain-storming sessions with CI a first version of the KBA delineation has
been compiled looking at all species and environmental data available, incorporating expert advice
and stakeholders’ views on species protection and conservation measures. The delineation of Key
Biodiversity Areas concentrated on recorded observations of threatened species, both IUCN-
declared threatened, and locally described as threatened. Furthermore, the delineation also
considered the very special New Caledonian environmental characteristics hosting rare, distinct
species and often described as a main source for high endemism. The marine environment has been
looked at as well, however observation data was not sufficient enough to derive KBAs/site-scale
based biodiversity conservation areas. Existing delineated marine data such as registered World
Heritage data, areas suggested through ecoregional assessemtns and suggested dugong protection
zones are presented forming the base for further discussion in the marine KBA delineation process.
22 confirmed Key Biodiversity Areas have been delineated within New Caledonia, covering an area
of 769,316.65 ha, and 42% of the New Caledonian territory. Small scattered and isolated KBA
patches were identified and declared as candidate KBAs, covering 36,990.02 ha and a small
percentage of 2% of the territory.
The first draft of this delineation was presented to main stakeholders, and was generally accepted. It
represents a so far maximum approach of key biodiversity area definition. Following the iterative
process of biodiversity delineation, further participative consultations are likely to take place and
might bear the potential of outlining more refined individual key biodiversity areas, this also in
regard to establishing a conservation network throughout the landscape of New Caledonia.
Confirmed and candiate Key Biodiversity Areas are shown in Figure 1.
Fig.1 delineated KBAs in New Caledonia as of April 2011.
Methods The methodology of delineation of Key biodiversity areas (KBAs) followed the concept outlined in
Langhammer et al. (2007)
, describing an approach for establishing a global standard for the
identification of sites of global biodiversity significance based on vulnerability and irreplaceability.
KBAs are site/habitat scale outcomes based on specific criteria, being threatened species, restricted
range species, significant congregations with standardised thresholds defined by IUCN. KBAs
ultimately set targets for Protected Area networks, and their progress is monitored through
Protected Area gazettal and the development and implementation of management plans.
Confirmed KBAs are a first step to be focused on producing in this analysis, based on known
observation/collection points of threatened and restricted range species. The criteria for developing
confirmed KBAs are the following:
Criterion Vulnerability Vulnerability is based on presence of species populations with high probability of extinction in short-
to medium-term future. The sites are characterised by regular occurrence of one or more CR
(critically endangered), EN (endangered), or VU (vulnerable) species (Langhammer et al., 2007). The
confirmed KBAs are triggered by each individual species, classed as “CR” or “EN”, observed at a
geographically confirmed and identifiable location.
Globally Threatened Species
i. Site with confirmed presence of CR or EN species
ii. >10 pairs or 30 individuals of VU species
These species occurrences trigger confirmed KBA areas.
Criterion Irreplaceability Irreplaceability refers to the extent to which areas can be replaced by or substituted for others (C.
Marguels and S. Sakar, 2007)
Restricted Range Species
Restricted Range refers to geographic processes that create or drive endemism. The habitat
specificity is also an important element of restricted range. Restricted Range areas are a
representation of geographically concentrated species that depend on network of irreplaceable
Langhammer, P.F., Bakarr,M.I., Bennun, L.A., Brooks, T.M., Clay, R.P., Darwall,W., De Silva, N., Edgar, G.J.,
Eken, G., Fishpool, L.D.C.,3 Fonseca, G.A.B. da, Foster, M.N., Knox, D.H., Matiku, P., Radford, E.A., Rodrigues,
A.S.L., Salaman, P., Sechrest, W., and Tordoff, A.W. (2007). Identification and Gap Analysis of Key Biodiversity
Areas: Targets for Comprehensive Protected Area Systems. Gland, Switzerland: IUCN.
Marguels, C. and Sakar, S. (2007). Systematic Conservation Planning, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge
sites within at least part of range or life cycle. These are sites that are regularly holding one or
more restricted-range species (Langhammer et al., 2007). Range restriction tends to be based
on geographic patterns rather than habitat types. The restricted range criterion offers the
possibility to address species conservation in a timelier rapid manner. This is of particular
advantage regarding the time lags of vulnerable species being assessed on the International Red
i. Site containing all or most RR species (global range<50,000sqkm) of the area in question
(in this case, of New Caledonia)
ii. Site containing 5% global population of RR species underrepresented in other KBA's
Bioregional Restricted Assemblages
Sites holding a significant proportion of the group of species whose distributions are restricted
to a biome or subdivision of it. Bioregional Restricted Assemblages trigger KBAs if they are areas
of high uniqueness in their species assemblages (plant/animal communities). This can clearly
cover many remaining dry forest patches in New Caledonia.
i. Site containing a significant component (no numerical threshold) of the biota of the region
in question (ie. high alpha diversity)
ii. Site containing unusual species assemblages underrepresented by KBA's generated by
previous criteria (eg. Mangroves/Dry Forest)
Globally significant Congregations
Sites holding large proportions of the global population of a species at a given time (e.g.
breeding colonies, foraging and roosting sites). Spawn zones (e.g. Province Nord, New
Caledonia) can fulfil this criterion.
i. Site that holds on a regular basis >1% of biogeographic population of a congregatory
waterbird (list as per Delaney & Scott 2002)
ii. Site that holds on a regular basis >1% of biogeographic population of any congregatory
iii. Site known or thought to hold on a regular basis >20,000 individuals of single or mixed
iv. Sites known or thought to exceed thresholds at bottleneck sites for migratory species (ie