Togo & Naivivi villagers capture 11 American iguanas last week during the American iguana bounty.
Eleven female American iguanas were caught in Qamea last week after villagers reported sightings in Niubavu and Namata estate.
Inoke Koli, the Temporary Biosecurity Officer in Qamea who has been involved in capturing and monitoring the American iguanas since 2010 said that there have been numerous reports from the past month by villagers of the species around the coastal areas. But none have been caught due to the agility of the species who are termed to be good climbers and excellent swimmers.
The 11 captured American iguanas had a clutch of 193 eggs amongst them. This is the period when they are easily spotted as they move around more when looking for a mate and laying eggs. The breeding season for the American iguana is usually from June to September.
With no natural predators, the American iguana population continues to grow exponentially after its introduction in 2000. At the end of the 2013 breeding season there are likely to be in excess of 10,000 iguanas on Qamea.
There have been new sightings in Dreketi Village located on the south east end of Qamea Island, an area where this species have never been sighted or recorded before. This shows that the species have increased their ranges due to their increasing population.
In June this year, Biosecurity Authority of Fiji together with NFMV launched the bounty for the American iguana in Taveuni with a captured adult valued at $10, $5 for juvenile and 50c for an American iguana egg.
The captures last week have given some hope that communities are slowly getting involved in helping to contain the species.
The bounty may not necessarily be the solution in eradicating the American iguana, but it is one way that the communities can be involved while other avenues are sought to completely eradicate them.