Protected Areas Programme
NAME Uvea Crater Lakes
LOCATION 13o16'-13o19'S, 176o08'-176o12'W; on the island of Uvea in the Wallis Islands.
AREA 43.1 ha.
ALTITUDE 3-97 m.
OVERVIEW Seven small, freshwater lakes of volcanic origin on the island of Uvea in the Wallis Islands.
PHYSICAL FEATURES There are at least seven freshwater lakes in dormant volcanic craters on Uvea Kikila (17.9 ha), Lalolalo (15.2 ha), Lanutavake (4.6 ha), Lanutuli (2.2 ha), Alofival (1.3 ha), Lano (1.1 ha) and Lanumaha (0.8 ha). Lac Lalolalo, on the west side of Uvea, is a spectacular crater lake with vertical walls some 30 m high.
The climate is tropical, with an average annual rainfall of over 3,000 mm.
ECOLOGICAL FEATURES No information is available on the aquatic vegetation. The vegetation in surrounding areas was originally dominated by lowland rain forest, but most of this has been cleared for shifting agriculture and has been replaced by gardens, secondary scrub, grassland and "toafa", a scrubby formation with only ferns, Pandanus and a few shrubs. By 1986, the forest cover on Uvea had been reduced to only about 15% (SPREP, 1986).
LAND TENURE Customary ownership.
CONSERVATION MEASURES TAKEN Approximately 30 ha of forest surrounding Lac Lalolalo are afforded some protection as "Vao-Tapu" (Sacred or Forbidden Forest). Special measures are taken to protect the forest from bush fires, and the hunting of pigeons and flying foxes (Pteropus tonganus) is restricted (SPREP, 1985).
CONSERVATION MEASURES PROPOSED Dahl (1980) recommended that reserves be established to protect appropriate lake areas.
LAND USE No information. Subsistence agriculture, especially slash-and-burn farming, in surrounding areas.
DISTURBANCES AND THREATS Uvea was an important American military base from 1942 to 1944, and when the Americans left, they dumped their war equipment into the lakes. Part of the "Tapu" forest around Lac Lalolalo was cleared "illegally" in 1980 (SPREP, 1985).
HYDROLOGICAL AND BIOPHYSICAL VALUES No information.
SOCIAL AND CULTURAL VALUES No information.
NOTEWORTHY FAUNA There are reported to be "blind snakes" in Lac Lalolalo, and the flying fox Pteropus tonganus occurs in the surrounding forest.
NOTEWORTHY FLORA No information.
RECREATION AND TOURISM Lake Lalolalo and Lac Lanutavake are occasionally visited by tourists, the former for its scenery and the latter for swimming.
MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY AND JURISDICTION No information.
REFERENCES Dahl (1980); Fromaget & Beaudou (1986); SPREP (1985 & 1986).
REASONS FOR INCLUSION 1a, 2b. A group of very isolated freshwater lakes; the only significant wetlands in Wallis and Futuna.
SOURCE See references.