Monday, January 29, 2007

Two Fiji animals - the bold and the beautiful





from w
The pastel picture is too big to scan in one piece (more than A3) so I'm afraid I scanned it as four sections. Sorry. A mongoose and a little lizard. One is bold and the other is beautiful!

(added later)
There are at least two kinds of iguanas in Fiji, the brachylophus fasciatus which is blue and the brachylophus vitiensis which is green and white and crested and can change colour. Their ancestors may have drifted to Fiji from South America.


The small Indian mongoose was introduced to Fiji, so they say, to get rid of the snakes in the sugar-cane fields. But that is a myth, according to Dr Paddy Ryan who says it was introduced to get rid of rats. They say that a pair were brought from Calcutta in 1883 after the failure to breed them from 1870. The mongoose has a suitable name in my opinion - Herpestes javanicus as it is certainly a pest in Fiji. Mongeese often stole the eggs from our chickens when we lived in Vatuadova near Labasa, and I've seen them running in and out of a cafe in Labasa town. It’s a predator of birds, small mammals and reptiles so iguanas are at risk from mongeese. They even eat the eggs of sea turtles. They live to be about four years. This species has been nominated as among 100 of the "World's Worst" invaders.

There is a children’s story about the mongoose and the iguana by Ann Mason 2006 and she has given three optional endings. The website is intended for discussion by children.

11 comments:

loloma said...

Ah, I still remember when I was in Fiji and there were lizzards all over the place, even in my friend's kitchen. I was so scared... but they were also kind of cute.

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Loloma, I'll post more info about the mongoose and the iguana. The ones you saw were tiny ones that run on the ceilings of houses. Actually I doubt if a mongoose and an iguana would share the same garden easily!
w.

Gilbert Veisamasama, Jr said...

Loloma, those are geckhos. They are harmless. I know a lot of tourists get a bit excited when seeing them.

Pandabonium said...

The mongoose is common in Hawaii for the same reason (unfortunately). I have a funny story about that. My Dad used to walk through the woods by a nearby golf course and pick up lost balls. He didn't golf, he'd just save them and give them to friends who did. One day he came upon a mongoose hole and it was surrounded by golf balls! He imagined the poor mongoose bringing home what it thought were big eggs only to be unable to "crack" them open.

Gilbert Veisamasama, Jr said...

Pandamonium, that's a good one! LOL! Mongoose are such lovely creatures but I wouldn't want to keep one as a pet. They have very sharp teeth.

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Panda, what a funny story. I told Peceli who is a mad keen golfer. He told me that at Pacific Harbour kids sell golf balls they pick up and if you are not quick enough they will even beat you to the ball you are playing.
w.

loloma said...

Gilbert, thanks for enlightening me on the geckhos. Actually, after I posted the comment I started to doubt whether those were really lizards. Anyway... a spider is enough to get me excited, so you can imagine when I saw those little animals "walking" carefree in the kitchen.

Simone said...

Hey - I love your pastel picture. I'm making a short film about Fiji's endangered wildlife. The plan is to donate it to all the schools in Fiji. One of the animals in the film is the Banded Iguana. Could I use your picture of the iguana and the mongoose in my film? I am happy to give you a credit for it!
Cheers,
Simone.

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Bula sia Simone,
Yes, you can use my pic/pics - just give credit that's all. I'm not fussed these days about copyright and selling my drawings.
wendy

Simone said...

Vinaka vaka levu!

What name would you like it credited to?
And what is the name of the drawing?

Cheers,
Simone.

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Hi Simone,
Just say Wendy R from the Babasiga blog. No title so just call it what suits your purpose.
w.