Scientific Name: Brachylophus vitiensis
IUCN Red List Status: Critically Endangered
Description: Darker green overall with three narrow white bands often bordered by black scales. This species can often appear dark green to almost black. Fijian Crested Iguanas are larger in body size and have large crest spines that easily distinguish it from the Fijian Banded Iguana.
Distribution: Fiji Islands.
Habitat: Fijian Iguanas are diurnal and arboreal, utilizing tree canopies for cover and food.
Notes: This and other species of Fijian Iguanas represent a highly understudied group in iguana conservation. In 2005, the IIF granted funding to Peter Harlow and Suzanne Morrison to conduct a natural history and conservation biology study on the Fijian Crested Iguana. Since then, the IIF has provided additional grants to fund research in the phylogeny and natural history of Fijian Iguanas. With marked declines continuing and the critical status of the entire genus increasing, additional studies were needed. Due to the large geographic range, many areas have not been adequately sampled. In 2009 the IIF approved a grant to fund studies that would fill in the gaps of knowledge in the natural history of Fijian Iguanas. During this study, 15 priority islands were surveyed and among the most notable results a new species of crested iguana was identified. Additionally, this research identified potential populations and areas to be recommended for national park status as well as areas that required additional monitoring due to the introduction of invasive Green Iguanas.
The International Iguana Foundation has approved another grant for Fijian iguana conservation to take place in 2012. Yaqaga Crested Iguana (Photo credit Tamara Osborne-Naikatini)
For information on conservation, management, and how the IIF is working to save this species, please see the Projects Section.
The future protection of these magnificent species can be furthered by your donation.
Please click here to make a contribution to the IIF and help save this species and others from extinction.