Sunday, 28 April 2013

Boa Spotted Eating Endangered Iguana for First Time

Douglas Main, Staff Writer 

Date: 25 April 2013 Time: 10:46 AM ET

The Pacific boa usually eats skinks and geckos, and other small reptiles on the islands of Fiji where it is found. But it also has a more concerning prey: the endangered Fiji banded iguana, which is much larger than its common prey and — more importantly ­— deemed endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

A photo taken by Robert Fisherand his colleagues at the U.S. Geological Survey is the first time the boa has been observed eating this iguana, which was only discovered in 2008, according to ABC Science. The iguana is named Brachylophus bulabula, after the Fijian word for "hello" (bulabula).

The iguana's future is somewhat grim. There were once five species of iguanas in this genus (the taxonomic classification above species) on the Fijian islands. Two species have already gone extinct, due to habitat loss and predation from feral cats and mongooses, and another species is critically endangered, ABC Science reports.

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