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Fiji Time: 12:55 AM on Thursday 24 April

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Call to support iguana project

Dawn Gibson
Monday, December 23, 2013

BIOLOGIST Rick van Veen has called on stakeholders to support the Biosecurity Authority of Fiji in the eradication of the American iguana.

A NatureFiji-MareqetiViti (NFMV) report stated if nothing was done to eradicate the American iguana, Fiji will be home to one million of them by 2016.

The report stated the projected amount WAS based on a scientific study conducted by Mr van Veen.

The public however, is being encouraged not to panic but instead understand how NFMV arrived at the statistic and learn what can be done.

NFMV director Nunia Thomas had revealed the findings of the report.

"Ms Thomas clarified that these figures were derived from conservative estimates of the reproductive rate of the American iguana on a base population of 2500 with 400 adults estimated as present on Qamea in 2011," a statement released by NFMV and Biosecurity of Fiji this week read.

"Biosecurity Authority of Fiji must be given the support it needs to implement the eradication program, particularly from owners of vessels and individuals travelling in and out of the American iguana biosecurity zone."

BAF is the organisation leading these eradication programs and they are pleading with the public to assist them, rather than be frightened by the figure.

"Biosecurity Authority of Fiji is working together with other agencies towards strengthening inter-island biosecurity measures to minimise the spread of the iguanas."