Fiji’s endemic species under threat warns Thomas-Moko

August 11, 2023 12:12 pm

[File Photo]

Fiji’s unique species are under threat from wildlife trafficking, warns Director of Nature Fiji Mareqeti Viti, Nunia Thomas-Moko.

She says the illegal trade of endemic creatures like the Fiji Crested Iguana, Fiji Banded Iguana, and Natewa Swallowtail Butterfly has surged, endangering their survival.

Thomas-Moko says a collective effort is needed to curb the illegal trade and exploitation of these species, which, if not done, can have a profound impact on the natural environment.

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“These are some of the issues we have to deal with in terms of ensuring that these species and their habitats are protected or looked after, and they are not at risk of being collected, harvested, or sold illegally.”

Director of Nature Fiji Mareqeti Viti, Nunia Thomas-Moko.

Thomas-Moko adds that Fiji’s wildlife faces a further existential threat from rampant logging and agriculture.

“Over 90 percent of Fiji’s endemic plants and animals that are found only in Fiji depend on the forest, so the more we lose the forest, the more threatened they become.”

The Nature Fiji Mareqeti Viti Director says better coordination and partnerships are needed among relevant authorities to cease the illegal trade of wildlife.