Best time to travel to Fiji

Fijian Banded Iguana Breeding

Active during the day, looking for food and basking, Fiji banded iguanas hide in the treetops at night

Best time: March–April | November

Fijian Banded Iguana Breeding

Fiji banded iguanas are tropical lizards that can be found mainly on the south-eastern islands of Fiji. You can see them camouflaging in the treetops of mesic to moist forests of Vanua Levu, Viti Levu, Viwa, Ovalau, or Kadavu, where they usually spend most of their life. But during the day, especially between meals, they bask on tree branches in the sun.

Traditionally they are bright blue and green but can change their skin to be darker when exposed to the sun. Due to sunlight, Fiji banded iguanas' skin warms up more quickly. This species of iguanas have long spindly toes and sharp claws that help them quickly climb the trees. The breeding season of Fiji banded iguanas starts in March and lasts to April, sometimes during November. The females leave the treetops to lay eggs. They use their feet and jaws to dig a nest, and after nesting the eggs, they cover them with soil and leaf litter and pat the top down with the head. After this procedure, the female returns back to the tree. The incubation period lasts from seven to nine months.

When babies are born, they come out from their eggs and dig themselves out of the soil. Then the little iguanas have to find their food and a safe place to hide. Fiji banded iguanas are considered a national treasure by Fiji and a sacred animal among some island tribes. You can see their display on the national currency and stamps.

Practical info

When is the best time to see Fiji banded iguanas breeding?

The Fiji banded iguanas' breeding season extends from March to April, and sometimes in November. If you're contemplating observing the breeding season, we would suggest visiting Vanua Levu, Viti Levu, Viwa, Ovalau, or Kadavu during these months. However, keep in mind that Fiji has other attractions worth noting, and it's wise to consider weather conditions and other activities when planning your trip. Show more

Where can one find Fiji banded iguanas in Fiji?

Fiji banded iguanas predominantly inhabit the southeast region of Fiji, concealed in the tree canopy of mesic to moist forests. You can witness these remarkable creatures in Vanua Levu, Viti Levu, Viwa, Ovalau, or Kadavu. Thanks to the conservation efforts of some professional handlers, the iguanas' breeding and living habitats in the rainforest are been protected. They are a national treasure of Fiji, and tourists can readily access them through guided tours. Show more

How can you tell when a Fiji banded iguana is ready to breed?

Fiji banded iguanas attain sexual maturity within three to five years of age, with breeding season starting between March to April and sometimes in November. During this season, female iguanas abandon their treed havens to lay eggs while males display aggressive mating behavior such as head bobbing, body twitching, and biting to attract selected females. It is noteworthy that only professional handlers should engage in activities with the iguanas; otherwise, the actions may be interpreted as threatening. Show more

What is the lifespan of a Fiji banded iguana?

Fiji banded iguanas are known to live for up to 20 years, but they have a reduced chance of survival when young. This lower survival rate is due to threats such as habitat destruction and prey scarcity. These animals are becoming endangered through issues like deforestation and invasive species. Thus, conservation efforts are essential for these creatures' continued existence, more so because they are one of Fiji's national treasures. Show more

Do Fiji banded iguanas have any predators in their natural habitat?

Fiji banded iguanas have natural predators like felines such as cats and birds of prey like eagles and hawks. While some Fijian islanders tend to view their meat as a delicacy, this practice is slowly waning as the creatures are regarded as ecosystem stakeholders and one of Fiji's national treasures. Conservation methods have helped safeguard their natural habitats, stop the hunting, and assist their propagation. Thus Fiji banded iguanas are now considered a protected species. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin