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B. vitiensis is found on the islands of Fiji, in the South Pacific. The species is restricted to tropical dry forests, specifically to the rain shadow forests located on certain islands in Fiji. These forests are one of the most threatened vegetation types in the Pacific. A small population of the Fiji crested iguana – fewer than 80 individuals – can be found on the small island of Macuata. The majority of this species – fewer than 4,000 individuals – is most commonly found on the island of Yadua Taba. The island is a National Trust of Fiji reserve, and is thus the only legally protected population of the Fiji crested iguana. The island is now also free of forest burning and the presence of goats, which was a major factor in the initial decline of the species. There are some other Fijian islands where evidence of the species has been recorded: Deviulau, Waya, Monuriki, Monu, Qalito (possibly extinct), Yaquaga, Yadua and Malolo Levu.
The critically small population on Malolo Levu seems to qualify as a subspecies, B. vitiensis pricei, as it differs in its DNA on 7 alleles in comparison to B. vitiensis from Macuata. A small protected forestation area was created recently for the last 17 crested iguanas that survived. Juveniles have been reported on the site, indicating some degree of reproduction is ongoing. However, the outlook for this subpopulation is a matter of great concern. According to Steve Anstey of Ahura Resorts there are currently only 15 iguanas left in the forest remnants at Likuliku Lodge and 6 at Malolo Resort. Conservation programs initiated for the Likuliku and Malolo populations include a captive head start facility and reforestation programs led by Likuliku’s environmental officer Sia Rasalato. The species probably inhabited land up to 500 meters above sea level in the recent past, but is currently only found at elevations of 100 meters or less
|Status||Date Listed||Lead Region||Where Listed|
|Endangered||03/20/1980||Foreign (Headquarters)||Wherever found|
|03/20/1980||45 FR 18009 18010||Listing with Endangered Status for Five Species of Foreign Reptiles|
|11/02/1979||44 FR 63474 63476||Proposed Listing with Endangered Status for Five Species of Foreign Reptiles|