Resorts Conduct Fiji Crested Iguana Survey
The Ahura Resorts Fiji on Malolo Island will bring in international partners in July to do a survey on our crested iguanas.
The survey will look at the iguana’s property and document population growth, tagging and releasing.
This includes the United States Geological Survey, San Diego Zoo and Taronga Zoo. They have been valuable partners with the resorts for over 12 years.
Director of sales and marketing Samantha Muspratt said this was part of Ahura Resorts’ Worldleading Fijian Crested Iguana Conservation Programme at Likuliku Lagoon Resort, where the Ahura Resorts iguana sanctuary and assurance colony is thriving.
“Ahura is excited to be bringing these partners into Fiji in July to undertake a thorough survey of the wild iguana population on Malolo Island, undertake a ‘tag and release’ programme and observe and update on the breeding programme and health of the assurance colony iguanas,” she said.
The team has carried out major control of feral cat and rat populations and assisted with the reforestation project, now a focal point.
“The aim is to not only minimise the resort footprint and impact on the extraordinary nature on the island, but through a range of activities, programmes and initiatives, improve and enhance the environment for imperiled species for future generations,” Ms Muspratt said.
“This includes starting the Ahura Resorts Foundation, which will be a vehicle to assist with funding the various conservation and environment projects moving forward.”
During the two-year COVID closure and in 2022, a total of 12 hatchlings were born.
The captive population is 12, which includes four adult breeding pairs – of which two females are presently gravid. The population in the wild is now estimated to be around 80.
The assurance colony based at the resort is the only captive breeding facility in the world doing so under natural conditions – meaning, no labs or incubators – the females are naturally laying their eggs in the ground as they would in the wild.
The discovery of a crested iguana in 2010 at the resort kicked off an incredible research journey, sparked by the species’ classification as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List.
Crested iguanas are found only in Fiji, and their presence is therefore beneficial to the eco-tourism economy.
“The iguanas on Malolo were thought to be extinct for over 25 years before the exciting rediscovery in
The aim is to not only minimise the resort footprint and impact on the extraordinary nature on the island, but through a range of activities, programmes and initiatives, improve and enhance the environment for imperiled species for future generations. Samantha Muspratt Director of sales and marketing Ahura Resorts Fiji