Abstracts should be limited to 300 words.
For the 2020 Annual Meeting, presentation slides will be advanced by a moderator and not the speaker. Avoid including “animations” within your slides; short movie clips are okay.
Rapid Assessment for Fijian Iguanas (Brachylophus sp.) in the Northeastern Fijian Islands
Fisher, Robert*1, Peter Harlow2, Jone Niukula3, Pita Biciloa3, Sipiriano Qeteqete3
1U. S. Geological Survey, San Diego, California, USA
2Taronga Conservation Society Australia, NSW, Australia
3The National Trust of Fiji, Suva, Fiji
Currently three living species of endemic iguanas in Fiji in the genus Brachylophus are known. These species have restricted distributions within Fiji; although many records are plotted on maps for iguanas elsewhere within Fiji that lack validation of their species identification. Recent records of an invasive large lizard from Qamea Island were confirmed (in 2008) through photographs to be the Green Iguana (Iguana iguana). In early 2010, we undertook surveys for the status of native and invasive iguanas in northeastern Fiji. We were able to conduct assessments on 15 islands. We confirmed living populations of two species of Brachylophus iguanas on a few islands north of Vanua Levu and discovered that the majority of islands in that region are now not suitable for iguanas. Invasive Commmon Green Iguanas were found to occur on two islands to the east of Taveuni, in sympatry with Brachylophus on one island. Relatively large populations of Brachylophus bulabula were found for the first time and these were on two islands located between Viti Levu and Vanua Levu. These islands could serve as a protected area for this endangered species. These surveys confirm that the endemic Brachylophus habitat is continuing to decline and few populations appear large or stable.