Critically Endangered iguanas arrive at Newquay Zoo
Published: 25th Apr 2017Critically Endangered Fijian banded iguanas have arrived at Newquay Zoo. They can be found in a brand new enclosure in the upstairs area of the Zoo’s Tropical House,…
Critically Endangered Fijian banded iguanas have arrived at Newquay Zoo.
They can be found in a brand new enclosure in the upstairs area of the Zoo’s Tropical House, next door to the black tree monitors.
The iguanas, one male and one female and yet to be named, travelled from Austria and Germany to their new home at the Zoo. These iguanas originate from the Yaduataba, Monuriki and Yasawa islands in Fiji and are used to living in small pockets of beach forests on primarily uninhabited islands. Their main threat in the wild is habitat destruction from an unlikely villain – goats. Local people released goats onto the islands and these snack on the natural habitat of the iguanas, making the pockets of beach forest inhabitable to this vibrant species.
Having been declared Critically Endangered in 2007, housing this species in captivity has never been more important, particularly with a potential breeding pair. Senior Keeper Gareth O’Dare commented: “We are really excited to have this species as a new addition to the collection and we hope that the pair will breed whilst they are with us at the Zoo.”
The reptile team at the Zoo like to design their enclosures as close to the species’ natural environment as possible. They have used ethically sourced materials and a variety of artificial microclimates to allow these iguanas to exercise natural behaviours such as basking, climbing and courtship displays.