Brachylophus fasciatus

Lau Banded Iguana

Stats

IUCN Status: Endangered
Range: Lau Island group of Fiji, introduced to Vanuatu, reintroduced to Tonga
Population: Unknown; maybe <20% of former range
Size: Max snout-to-vent length 7 in
Threats: Cats, rats, goats, pigs, and deforestation.
fiji

Species Information

  • The Lau Banded Iguana is an Endangered species found on several landmasses in the Lau Island Group in Fiji.
  • Depending on the island flora they are found in both wet and dry forest patches, these habitats are often threatened however, and the remaining populations are declining in the wild and nowhere are they considered secure.
  • They are threatened by land conversion, logging of important food and shelter trees, non-native invasive species such as Black Rats and feral cats predate on the iguanas while, free-roaming domestic pigs and goats. Forest burning in Fiji’s Lau islands is widespread and the continuation of this practice is likely to cause additional local extinctions in the future.
  • Although fully protected in Appendix I by CITES (the Conventional on International Trade in Endangered Species), illegal trafficking of Fiji’s iguanas for the commercial hobbyist pet trade has emerged as a potential threat to their survival. All Fijian iguanas held privately outside of the country, have been trafficked or descended from animals illegally collected in Fiji and smuggled out of the country.
  • To date, there are no significant conservation measures in place for the Lau Banded Iguana, however a Species Action Plan for all Fijian iguanas is being prepared. Conservation recommendations will need to focus on invasive predator control, habitat protection, improved forestry and agricultural practices, and education and outreach to local communities.

IIF Grants Received

Completion of the IUCN Fijian Iguana (Brachylophus sp.) Recovery/Strategic Plan 2018–2023

Kim Lovich

$7,925

Population Assessments and Conservation Genetics Analyses of Fijian Iguana (Brachylophus sp.)


Robert Fisher

$10,000

Population Assessments and Conservation Genetics Analyses of Fijian Iguana (Brachylophus sp.)

Robert Fisher

$8,000

Population Assessments and Conservation Genetics Analyses of Fijian Iguana (Brachylophus sp.)

Robert Fisher

$12,000

This project will build on previous work done in 2009–2010 by doing more extensive surveys and genetic testing. More intensive surveys will provide population estimates for both the new species of crested iguana and the previously known species of banded iguana to determine conservation priorities for this genus. A microsatellite library to document and further examine the genetics of the entire genus will also be developed to assist in future conservation and management of wild and captive populations.

Banded Iguana (Brachylophus sp.) Species Assessment of the North Eastern Fijian Islands

Robert Fisher

$6,000

Recent genetic and morphological research on Fijian Iguanas (genus Brachylophus) has shown that there are three living species in the genus and indicated that there may be more undescribed diversity in the genus. This research also identified that the northern large islands have never been assessed for iguanas and although it’s known that there are iguanas on these islands none were included in the genetics or morphological analysis. This work will help to more completely describe the diversity of living species in the genus Brachylophus, and is necessary to begin conservation planning for the Banded Iguanas. To date most conservation actions have been focused on the Crested Iguanas.