Jamaican Rock Iguana
donated by Herpetofauna
The Jamaican Rock Iguana (Cyclura collei) is probably the most endangered lizard species in the world with a population size of several dozen. The loss of natural habitat due to bauxite mining on the Caribbean island of Jamaica is one of the problems. In addition, this iguana species is unfortunately also poached a lot. Due to the large loss in numbers, it is crucial to start a breeding project and also to perform genetic research in order to guarantee a viable population. The area is quite extensive and difficult to access. This makes it extra difficult for rangers to do their patrols and therefore animals are still being captured for consumption.
The habitat of the Jamaican iguana has also been altered by the presence of invasive species such as goats, which are a direct competitor for food.
Like many other Cyclura species, the research being done is very useful for determining the strategy of the other species that are also in danger of extinction.
To make protection possible, local employees of nature parks must be provided with a good communication network, which also helps protect other animal species. The project is concerned with improving the island's infrastructure and creating breeding stations. The project was started by SDGL (in Dutch: 'Stichting Doelgroep Groene Leguanen').