Rescuing “Neon Dragons” – Support for Endangered Fiji Iguanas

They don’t fly or breathe fire. But brightly colored Fiji iguanas do look like tiny, scaly creatures from a fanciful medieval legend. It’s no wonder one researcher described these endangered iguanas as resembling “neon-colored dragons.”

By Eston Ellis
Photography by Tammy Spratt

Unlike storybook dragons, Fiji iguanas
are mellow creatures that have no fear of humans and will sit on an
outstretched hand or atop a shoulder—but they would rather be in a tree.
They spend their days in the canopy of wet and dry forests on the
islands of Fiji, where they enjoy munching on leaves, buds, fruit, and
flowers—especially vau, or tree hibiscus. And they rarely leave the trees, except to lay eggs or seek shelter during a tropical storm. 

Despite their fondness for a lush arboreal life, Fiji iguanas’ closest
relatives are the sand-colored desert iguanas found more than 5,500
miles away, in Southern California and Northern Mexico. How iguanas got
to Fiji is anybody’s guess, but many researchers believe they arrived
millions of years ago, before the islands of Fiji broke away from a
larger prehistoric supercontinent.

Found nowhere else but on the islands
of Fiji and Tonga, Fiji iguanas can perfectly balance on leaves and
twigs as they make their way along the forest canopy—and their vivid
green skin color, sometimes accented by white or blue bands, helps them
blend into the surrounding vegetation. But they can’t run or hide from
the increasing threats to their survival, including invasive species
such as feral cats, rats, cane toads, and mongooses.

On some islands,
feral goats are eating the vegetation iguanas feed on. And
deforestation—from agriculture and increasing development—is destroying
much of their remaining habitat. Fiji iguanas are also vulnerable to
poaching for the international exotic pet trade. Smuggling attempts have
ranged from the brazen to the bizarre: one man charged with smuggling
was caught taking iguanas out of Fiji by concealing them inside a hollow
prosthetic leg…

Read more: http://zoonooz.sandiegozoo.org/zoonooz/rescuing-neon-dragons/






The only difference between Richard Spencer/his “alt-right” nazi ilk and the Klan is that those people are not always wearing white hoods (although they may be wearing swastikas.) These people are wearing $80 haircuts and Brooks Brothers button downs and presenting themselves as something other than what they are. They have given their fascist beliefs a presentable face and therefore are unafraid and will not hide. These people are your fellow citizens, your neighbors and maybe even your friends. If you, like me, are a white American as upset about the situation in Charlottesville as I am, start by looking at the people around you. Change yourself, change your community. Do not give these people a platform, even casually. Speak out. If you recognize anyone in the photos from today, tell their bosses, tell their friends and family, tell everyone. Do not let these people continue to live their normal lives simply because they are not what you think of when you think of white supremacy. This is not relegated to rural communities, this is not relegated to “rednecks,” this may fall partially on the exploited working-class with hate in their hearts, but it falls even more so on the upper-class people doing the exploiting, the very people that the poor learned from.

To build on this – it is not the people who are too poor to leave their towns that the rich exploited and abandoned you need to worry about. It is the rich. It is the well-mannered white man in line behind you at the bookstore, at the bank, waiting for the elevator at work. These people are not some faceless mass of “scary” rural citizens, they are our neighbors and coworkers and bosses.

It is past damn time that we took out our own fucking trash instead of waiting for Black folx to do it again. 

Yeah, I’ve seen far too many people jump to either shit about “poor, jobless losers” or them being “crazy.” Which is both dangerous for the actual poor, jobless mentally ill people who face enough stigma as it is and for the fact you’re giving a pass to the actual dangerous people in this situation.

It’s the money and the college educations of those higher up in the gross bigot food chain that make them more dangerous here. Because the poor and the mentally ill and the otherwise disabled among their numbers were seduced by those people. They were enticed by an easy target to blame their problems on.

“It’s not my fault I’m like this, it’s because people are trying to commit white genocide!” “They’re trying to destroy our heritage!” Anything where they can paint it as “Those evil minorities caused my problems!” Anything to ignore the ways the people teaching them these lies contribute to their pain.

The power these people have now largely came from their ability to sound smart and well mannered in the right situations and to tailor their words toward whichever audience they need to cater to in the moment.

Yeah in Rich Liberal states people like to deflect everything onto rural rednecks.

It’s the rich people who have the power to segregate themselves in to rich people places where everyone is another rich white dude that are scary. I don’t have to explain why because we see how scary every time a politician opens their mouth and out spills something lacking such basic understanding of the world for most people it is shocking.

It’s easy to think you are right in an echochamber. Poor people are forced to have perspective because they are standing at the bottom. With the layers of systematic discrimination in place pushing everyone not white to the bottom means poor whites are going to have way more contact with people of other races to understand they are just as human as them. It is MUCH HARDER to tell yourself someone isn’t human if you’ve never met someone like them.