Entries in #wildlife (6)



I headed back over to the marine camp on Beqa for the Christmas festivities – without any volunteers in Suva I thought it may be a bit lonely! The boat this time was glorious! Calm sea, blue sky and just a tiny bit of sea spray. Nothing like my previous crossing!

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Volunteering as a Vet in Fiji

During my time in Fiji I worked in one of only three vet clinics in the whole of Fiji.  I am a newly qualified Vet Nurse from the UK and decided to experience my profession in Fiji

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Joining AFL

Travelling for extended periods of time, living as an expatriate, and even being out of School for many years has all lended myself to missing team sports incredibly...

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Updates From Fiji In 2015

Fiji has been a hallmark of Frontier's global volunteering projects for successful years. 2015 was just such a year for our volunteers and projects. Find out what we got up to...

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Hammerhead Shark Dissection 

After more than two months in Fiji I have done some pretty amazing things. From swimming with bull sharks and sea turtles to fish surveying and hammerhead shark tagging. I have learned an incredible amount of information about all aspects of the marine environment and ecosystem.

Most recently though I was able to learn and assist in a hammerhead shark dissection at The University of the South Pacific along with other volunteers Sarah and Lyndsay. Never having dissected a shark before, this was an awesome experience, especially after working with USP's baby scalloped hammerhead shark tagging project.

Sarah, Lyndsay, and I all learned how to properly dissect and remove the stomach from the baby hammerheads and identify and weigh the stomach contents. In addition, we learned how to collect tissue and spine samples for testing and further research.

After an amazing trip here in Fiji, this shark dissection was a memorable way to end my last few weeks. I can't wait to see what adventures come my way next!

By Lena Block - Fantasy Gap Year Volunteer

Find out more about Frontier's volunteering projects in Fiji.

Check out what volunteers in Fiji are up to right now!


Animal Clinics on Beqa

As in many countries around the world, it seems far more common in Fiji to keep a pet for a purpose, such as to catch mice or guard a home, rather than simply for companionship or affection. In addition, a much looser sense of ownership exists over most things in Fiji, and everything – from clothing to food, even to pets – is shared unreservedly. As a result, animals in Fiji seem to live much more freely than they do back at home - coming and going as they please, scavenging for the majority of their meals, and leading largely independent lives.

In some ways, it is a beautiful thing to live more closely to the natural order. However, when left completely to their own devices animals are often unable to get the care that they need in order to lead healthy & happy lives. Unchecked animal populations can lead to a lack of nutritional food sources and an increase in aggression, and the death of new litters of puppies and kittens under these conditions is a sad but common reality. A myriad of easily treated health issues such as worms, malnutrition, or skin conditions all too often lead to chronic illness and ultimately mortality.
Alongside Frontier, groups such as the Society for the Prevention & Cruelty of Animals (SPCA) in Suva and Charles Sturt University (CSU) in Australia are working hard to ensure that dogs & cats around Fiji have the chance to receive the care they need. It is with these two organizations that we recently partnered in order to welcome a group of 14 veterinary doctors to perform the first-ever animal clinics for an ever-growing population of pets on the island of Beqa.
Research shows that desexed animals live longer as they are generally less likely to get diseases such as mammary or testicular cancer, uterine infections or prostate problems. Spaying or neutering an animal not only reduces behavior problems such as roaming, aggression and urine marking in males and prevents mating behavior and false pregnancy in females, but can also lead to an increase in playfulness, happiness and focus in an animal. For this reason, the primary objective of the animal clinics was to perform as many desexing procedures in the villages of Rakua and Ravi Ravi as time and supplies allowed.

Despite the challenges of running animal clinics on a remote island with limited (i.e. no) electricity, basic working conditions (yet another reason why we love headlamps!), and none of the anticipated resources (12 crates of medical supplies are probably still circling round on a truck somewhere in the outback of Australia), the clinics were an undeniable success. Thanks to the unflinchingly supportive communities of Beqa and the dedication & generosity of the SPCA, the Frontier-CSU vet team was able to successfully complete over 30 desexing procedures, dewormed all of the puppies & kittens in the villages where clinics were held, and treated dozens of skin conditions on animals in the villages.
To say I was inspired by the patience, flexibility and resilience demonstrated by the vet team while adapting to an entirely new culture (bet they never thought they’d be performing surgery in sulus!) and challenging conditions (sterilizing surgical kits in a pressure cooker on a single kerosene burner lit by a match and a piece of dried grass) is an understatement. The vets were able to remain professional and focused on the objectives of the project and it was inspiring to be part of such a positive initiative for all involved.

Thank you to the SPCA and CSU on behalf of Frontier and the communities & animals of Beqa for your part in making such a positive impact on the island. We’re looking forward to continuing to work together to ensure a higher quality of life for all of our furry friends here in Fiji!

By Brittany Walters - Project Manager

Find out more about Frontier's volunteering projects in Fiji.

Check out what volunteers in Fiji are up to right now!