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Scientists discover new species of Fijian Iguana

17:15 Wed Jun 07, 2017

Taken from/By: FBC news
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A new species of banded iguana has been found on the island of Gau.

The discovery was done by researchers from the US Geological survey, Taronga Conservation Society Australia, the National Trust of Fiji and NatureFiji-MareqetiViti.

The new species, Brachylophus gau, is one of the only four South Pacific iguanas and is restricted to the island of Gau.

The scientists described the new addition in journal Zootaxa.

The scientists say the Gau iguana is noticeably different from its peers in physical appearance.

The unique color patterning, including green throats on both males and females, whereas males of other iguana species never have solid green throats.

Additionally, it is the smallest iguana in Fiji, smaller than the next largest species.

Currently, Pacific iguanas face threats from habitat loss and invasive species such as mongoose, feral cats, rats and goats.

The Zootaxa study indicated that Gau iguanas mostly inhabit the island’s large inland forests, which remain relatively intact.

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