IUCN Species of the Day: Jamaican Iguana
Photo credit: Eladio Fernandez
The Jamaican Iguana, Cyclura collei, is listed as ‘CRITICALLY ENDANGERED’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™. It was considered extinct for much of the last century, until its rediscovery in 1990. Formerly distributed along much of the island’s dry south coast, this species is among the rarest of the world’s lizards, and persists only in the rugged Hellshire Hills.
Much of its historical habitat was lost to agriculture and urban development, but the introduction of non-native mammalian predators, particularly the mongoose, is considered to be the main threat to the species. There are thought to be as few as 100 adult Jamaican Iguanas left.
The species is now supported by a continuous recovery programme that includes rearing young and releasing them as juveniles, and predator control near main nesting sites. To date, over 100 individuals have been repatriated into Hellshire, and those animals are increasing the nesting population in the core conservation zone. In fact, the number of females using the two known communal nesting areas has more than doubled in the past 20 years.
Geographic Range of the Jamaican Iguana
Credit: IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™
To learn more about the Jamacian Iguana, click here. Or visit the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ by clicking their logo below.
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