Unknown but critically endangered iguana species discovered in Fiji
September 19, 2008
Researchers have discovered a third species of iguana in Fiji. It is believed to be critically endangered, with a population of a “few hundred”.
The bright green lizard, which reaches a length of around 90 cm (35 inches), is marked with white bands. According the species has been dubbed the Fijian banded iguana. Its scientific name is Brachylophus bulabula.
Scott Keogh from the Australian National University told The Sydney Morning Herald that the species — like many other species native to Fiji — is at risk from introduced animals, including cats, dogs, mongoose, goats, and rats. Habitat loss could also pressure the species, which lives in the rainforest canopy.
Keogh said that Fiji was once home to at least two other species of iguana that were likely eaten into extinction long ago by humans when they settled the islands.
There are X species of iguana, most of which live in the New World. Scientists believe the species in Fiji colonized the islands after floating in vegetation across the Pacific Ocean.