Fiji Time: 11:05 AM on Thursday 27 October

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Airline staff plant trees

Jone Kalouniviti
Sunday, February 09, 2014

FIJI Airways has teamed up with the Mamanuca Environment Society (MES) to help restore the dry forest habitat at Likuliku Lagoon Resort on Malolo Island.

About 100 native trees namely vesi, damanu and kaudamu were planted along the fire breaks on the island gully by nine of the airline staff members on Thursday .

Steve Anstey, the group general manager for Ahura Resorts and MES member said the rediscovery of three juvenile Fijian crested iguanas in 2011 prompted the effort to regenerate the dry forest.

"According to some reports, the last iguana was found on Malolo Lailai Island in the late 1800s. They thought it was extinct. Imagine the excitement when we found two in early 2011 and another one 10 months later."

Mr Anstey said the findings clearly indicated the presence of an adult iguana population in the treetops of the remaining dry forest on the island.

"Research has shown that the sharp decline in their population is mainly due to the decline in dry forest and also the introduction of cats and goats on the island."

The Fiji crested iguanas are listed as endangered under the IUCN red list.

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