Photo credit: Charles Knapp
The Lesser Antillean Iguana, Iguana delicatissima, is listed as ‘ENDANGERED’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™. Once common throughout most of the northern Lesser Antilles of the Caribbean, this impressive lizard has been extirpated from several islands and is declining on most others.
Habitat clearance for agriculture was the main historical cause of the decline of this species. Now that tourism has taken over as the region’s chief industry, coastal development has led to further habitat loss. Hunting of the Lesser Antillean Iguana was prevalent in the past and, although now illegal, is still common in some areas. Other significant threats include predation by feral mammals such as mongooses, cats and dogs, and hybridization with Common Iguanas (Iguana iguana).
The Lesser Antillean Iguana is legally protected throughout its range, but law enforcement is limited. It occurs in several nationally protected areas, but insufficient mitigation of existing threats lessens the conservation impact of these areas. Research on the species’ population biology and ecology is ongoing, and captive breeding efforts are underway at the Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust.
Geographic Range of the Lesser Antillean Iguana
Credit: IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™
To learn more about the Lesser Antillean Iguana, click here. Or visit the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ by clicking their logo below.
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