Fiji Military And Biosecurity Launch Invasive Species Operation

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Joint eradication effort against "American Iguana"

By Reginald Chandar

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive February 1, 2015) – The Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) and the Biosecurity of Fiji (BAF) have joined forces to launch an operation to eradicate the Giant Invasive Iguana commonly known as the American Iguana from Fiji.

BAF Executive Chairman, Xavier Riyaz Khan says the joint operation with the RFMF is the result of the priority Government has placed on culling the iguanas.

"BAF is grateful to the RFMF for its support and we expect to see a very positive outcome as the result of the operation."

Khan has urged Fijians living on the affected islands to assist the RFMF by providing information about where iguanas have recently been sighted.

"This will truly be a team effort and we are requesting the cooperation and support of all stakeholders to help us win the fight against the Giant Invasive Iguana during this operation," he said.

RFMF Land Force Commander Colonel Sitiveni Qiliho said 130 soldiers will first be deployed to Qamea Island for a two-week period.

"The team from the RFMF will be trained by BAF officers on how to cull the Giant Invasive Iguana before they begin the operation."

He added that RFMF had assisted BAF's eradication program last year where five soldiers were deployed to Qamea for three months.

"However, the operation this year will be carried out on a much larger scale and we expect it to achieve even better results," he said.

The operation will start this month beginning with Qamea Island and then moving to Matagi, Laucala and Taveuni.

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