Engangered Iguanas

Crested Iguana

Scientific Name: Brachylophus vitiensis Fijian Name: ‘vokai’

Crested IguanaThe Fijian Crested Iguana, Brachylophus vitiensis, is endemic to the Fiji Islands and is currently listed as Critically Endangered under The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) criteria. The crested iguana is restricted to dry forest areas which are rarely found in Fiji nowadays due to fires. Three areas in Fiji still have populations of crested iguanas, and these include Monuriki island in the Mamanucas, Macuata island in Ra, Viti Levu and Yadua Taba in Bua, Vanua Levu. Yadua Taba has been made a sanctuary while Monuriki is undergoing habitat modifications to also declare the island a sanctuary for these iguanas..

Banded Iguana

Scientific Name: Brachylophus fasciatus Fijian Name: ‘vokai’

Banded IguanaThe Fiji banded iguana and the closely related crested iguana are the most geographically isolated iguanas in the world. They are believed to have evolved from the green iguanas that rafted on debris across the Pacific Ocean from South America.

Male Fiji banded iguanas are emerald green with broad, light-coloured bands. The females are solid green with occasional spotting.

Habitat destruction and, more significantly, the introduction of mongooses, goats and domestic cats to the islands, have led to the decline in populations of these iguanas over the past century. Both species of Fiji iguanas are considered to be endangered and have full protection under both Fiji and international laws.