Fiji Arthropod Survey

Funded by the National Science Foundation

Moala Tokota'a

Fiji Staff -

Moala Tokota'a

Moala Tokota’a is widely known as one of Fiji’s top ambassadors of conservation. A veteran to field work, the Lau native has visited dozens of villages during his four years with the Wildlife Conservation Society. It is a pleasure to watch Moala present the traditional sevusevu (kava root gift) to the villages’ chiefs as he explains in Fijian the relevance of the work being done by the scientists and the importance of conservation for the villages’ welfare.

Moala joined the WCS team after befriending the organization’s director and fellow canoe club enthusiast, Dr. David Olson. Having completed an epic three-week canoe trip from his home island of Lakeba to the town of Savusavu and having represented Fiji in the 1995 and 2003 South Pacific Games, Moala is respectfully referred to as Taitai (grandfather) by the rest of the team.

The skill of Moala in a canoe is matched by his skill in the field. His field experience includes bird surveys, mammal trapping, wetland work, and a wide range of arthropod collections. In addition to being a clever litter sifter, and a practitioner of the Malaise trap, Moala is a sure shot with the aerial net. His handiwork has recently earned Moala a new species of Dolichopodid fly, Plagiozopelma tokotaai, named in his honor. A man of aspirations, Moala hopes to continue his conservation work with his wife and colleague, Akanisi, for the current and future generations of the Fijian people.

This page last revised 23 July 2005


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