The newest clutch of Grand Cayman’s iconic, yet endangered, blue iguanas are hatching at the Blue Iguana Conservation (BIC) facility.
Already, 2020 is set to be one of the strongest breeding seasons in recent years, having already produced over 60 hatchlings. The new arrivals are currently housed in a specifically sectioned-off area within the Blue Iguana Conservation facility. Now that BIC tours have resumed after lockdown, guests are able to observe the hatchlings during a tour of the conservation facility.
Despite Blue Iguana Conservation’s 2020 breeding successes, the fight to ensure the long-term future of the blue iguana still continues.
“Wild blue iguanas face many challenges, so their survival is precarious. Released captive-bred iguanas can, and do, persevere to reproduce successfully in the protected reserves, however, our research shows that the overall population remains under significant pressure. This makes the importance of this year’s arrivals even more of a momentous event to continue ensuring a future for our charismatic blue iguanas,” says Luke Harding, BIC Operations Manager.
“Despite the tremendous success of Blue Iguana Conservation to date, we need to be very conscious that we are still in the early stages of securing a sustainable population of wild blue iguanas. Most of the threats that drove this species towards extinction are still prevalent on this island, along with newly emerging threats, so there is much work still to be done”, he warns.
“Though we work tirelessly here at BIC, along with our partners, to conserve the blues, we cannot save this endangered species alone. Despite the programme’s incredible community support and effort over the years, we still ask for your help to ensure the future of these animals”, says Mr Harding.
“We encourage our community to stay vigilant about the threats to the blues and, wherever possible, try to be an active part of the solution by adhering to simple rules, such as driving considerately, practicing responsible pet ownership and staying actively involved with BIC through our social media platforms, facility tours and fundraising events”.
BIC are proudly awaiting the emergence of many more captive-bred hatchlings, further increasing the total yield in 2020.
BIC is a conservation programme managed by the National Trust for the Cayman Islands. Tours of the BIC facility are Tuesdays – Saturdays (10:30; 11:30; 14:00) and Sundays (10:30; 11:30). Further information can be found at @blueiguanaconservation and www.nationaltrust.org.ky
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