Fiji’s Ahura Resort leading charge in iguana conservation

By Prerna Priyanka

Fiji’s Ahura Resorts has been at the forefront of taking steps to protect the Fiji Crested Iguana, a critically endangered species.

Samantha Muspratt, Director of Sales and Marketing at Ahura Resorts, recalls, “In 2010, one of our workers found an injured iguana.”

“This led to the discovery of the Malolo iguana, thought to be extinct for over 30 years.”

“So, we collaborated with experts like the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance and the US Geological Survey to start a breeding programme in Malolo Island.

“Taronga Zoo in Sydney, at one point was involved, [and] helped us set up the breeding cages and told us what we had to do, how we had to build them, what food we had to provide, and to see if we could start breeding them in captivity to restore the population in the wild, eventually.”

The programme includes habitat restoration and the removal of invasive species to create a safer environment for the iguanas.

Muspratt noted, “We’re focusing on restoring their natural habitat and eliminating threats like invasive species, such as feral cats and other predators.”

The resort also engages with the local community to ensure their conservation efforts benefit everyone.

“We work closely with the community, supporting infrastructure projects and providing education on environmental stewardship,” Muspratt explained.

“We’re not just protecting iguanas, but also educating staff, guests, and locals about environmental issues.”

Ahura Resorts has also implemented sustainable practices within their operations.

Muspratt shared, “We’re improving waste management and reducing single-use plastics to minimise our environmental impact.”

“Our strategic objective is to lead by example in conservation and community engagement.” 

The resort’s conservation efforts also extend above and below the sea, with projects encompassing coral reef restoration, turtle conservation, and marine reserve establishment.

“By restoring the iguana’s habitat, we’re fostering biodiversity and preserving Fiji’s natural heritage for future generations.”

Looking ahead, Ahura Resorts has big plans.

They hope to expand the iguana breeding programmes and implement coral propagation nurseries.

“Our journey towards environmental stewardship is ongoing,” says Muspratt. “We invite others to join us in protecting our planet.”

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