Higher fecundity in hybrid iguanas
On St. Eustatius in early 2018 a hybrid iguana -a cross between a Lesser Antillean iguana (Iguana delicatissima) and a Green iguana (Iguana iguana)- was found carrying eggs. In iguanas body size is the limiting factor to how many eggs they can lay. Lesser Antillean iguanas have only been observed to lay between 4-30 eggs, whilst this particular hybrid, which wasn't fully grown yet, was carrying 35 eggs! Therefore they form a huge risk towards populations of native Lesser Antillean iguanas, as the natives are slowly taken over through genetic swamping, whereby ever increasing numbers of hybrids enter a population until genetically pure Lesser Antillean iguanas are no longer born. Click HERE to download the publication by Tim van Wagensveld & Thijs van den Berg
IUCN and partners donate funds for Lesser Antillean iguanas
During the 40 year anniversary of IUCN-NL, IUCN-NL together with many other organisations generously raised funds for the Lesser Antillean iguanas on St. Eustatius. This funding will allow us to protect nesting sites, increase awareness, and we will be able to continue our population monitoring.
4 Iguanas flown to the Netherlands!
In May 2018, four critically endangered Lesser Antillean iguanas were flown to the Netherlands in style! They flew back with the Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte in the government jet from St. Maarten to the Hague, where they were picked up by Rotterdam Zoo staff. A studbook will be created in cooperation between Rotterdam Zoo, Durrell Zoo, and Vienna Zoo, to create an ex-situ population. We hope to release and bring back eggs and hatchlings in the future on St. Eustatius!
Lesser Antillean iguana is now critically endangered
Sadly as of March 2018 the Lesser Antillean iguana has been scaled up from endangered to critically endangered. It is the most endangered reptile within the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Stichting Herpetofauna donates €1000,-
Stichting Herpetofauna was so generous to donate 1000,- euros to SOSiguana during the First International King Cobra symposium. This will certainly help us in our cause to protect the endangered Lesser Antillean iguana!
RAVON to give 3 presentations during the First International King Cobra Symposium
During the first ever International King Cobra Symposium, on the 6th and 7th october 2017, three RAVON staff will give presentations on varying subjects. Tickets are available at: www.kingcobrasymposium.com . All in all there will be at least 21 speakers, with the main focus on King cobra's, although many other reptile species and subjects will also be discussed including our dear Lesser Antillean iguana!
Geographic range of Iguana delicatissima and hybridisation with Iguana iguana
You can download a map with the current geographic range (2017) of the Lesser Antillean iguana HERE. The map also shows which islands throughout I. delicatissima's range have been invaded by hybrids and/or green iguanas (Iguana iguana).
First island wide population assessment since 2004
For the first time since 2004 (Fogarty et al. 2004) RAVON will conduct an island wide survey together with STENAPA to determine the number of Iguanas left on St. Eustatius. This is part of a regional project in which the islands of Anguilla and St. Barths are also involved. Results are expected mid - 2018.
New Monitoring Guide for St. Eustatius
With the financial support of the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds Caribisch Gebied, SOSiguana was able to make a monitoring guide for the herpetofauna of St. Eustatius. Now everyone visiting the island will be able to help map the different reptile and amphibian species on the island. Are you are going to visit St. Eustatius, and would you like to help? Then you can either get a booklet at the STENAPA office on St. Eustatius (by the harbour), or download a pdf version via our website in project news.
Tim van Wagensveld (RAVON) together with Hannah Madden (EcoProfessionals) provided iguana conservation training for St. Eustatius National Parks (STENAPA). The focus was on iguana spotting, catching, handling, beading, PIT-tagging, and data management.
Green iguana and hybrids discovered on Statia
Early 2016 an adult female green iguana (Iguana iguana), was discovered and to present a further 6 hybrids of different generations were discovered. Hybridization poses a great threat to the population of Lesser Antillean iguanas, as this can cause the extirpation of the species on St. Eustatius.
Student program: Nestingbehaviour
Changes in the iguana's natural habitat are likely to affect the number of iguana nests. This is kinda worrying. The next few months Tim van Wagensveld (MSc student at the Wageningen University) will dig into the nesting behaviour of iguanas and possibly improving conditions and requirements allowing the numbers of nests to naturally increase.
At the end of March we will be starting the very first phase of a tagging project. To help monitor and restore the iguana population on the island we must be able to identifty individual iguanas. Therefore they will be tagged using colored glass beads. This harmless procedure allows us but also the general public who participate in the citizens science monitoring to differentiate animals from one another. Thanks to the support of the International Reptile Conservation Foundation we are able to initiate this.
Student program: Invasive Coralita
We like to welcome Janne Brouwers who is studying Applied Biology at HAS university of applied sciences in the Netherlands. For a period of 5 months her focus will be on the fast growing Coralita vine (Antigonon leptopus). It is known to be covering over 20% of Statias natural vegetation, however, it is yet unknown to what extend this affects I. delicatissima's food supply. A wonderful opportunity to learn more.
Update: Conservation Action Plan 2014-2016
We are very happy to announce that the final version of the Action plan for the Lesser Antillean Iguana has now officially been published by the IUCN! The plan can be viewed and download through the IUCN (https://portals.iucn.org/library/node/44923) or the ISG website (http://www.iucn-isg.org/publications/actions-plans/).
November 8th is approaching, RAVON dag 2014. This is the annual symposium about Dutch herpetofauna and fish organized by RAVON. This year's theme is 'Together for Nature Conservation', and because of the forthcoming holidays a special discount on your adoption of a wild iguana! Take this chance and support our programme! Click here to proceed.
Fight against extinction of this ancient iguana species. Become one with your inner iguana and blend in with the environment. Will you be the next iGuana? Accept the #iGuana challenge and donate!
Conservation Action Plan 2014-2016
Members of the IUCN-SSG Iguana Specialist Group, regional experts and stakeholders have drafted this comprehensive conservation action plan for the Lesser Antillean Iguana. Priority actions such as controlling invasive species, mitigating threats to habitat integrity, public awareness, and population monitoring have been integrated in the overall plan ensuring the long-term survival of this ancient iguana species throughout its natural range.
Vroege vogels visits Statia
Vroege Vogels, a radio and television program about current natural and environmental assests in the Netherlands, has visited the Dutch Caribbean islands. This premier season's episode takes you on a magnificent trip to Statia. Hannah Madden, STENAPA's Terrestrial Areas Manager, explains the story behind Statia's extraordinary nature and its unique endemic iguana. Please click HERE to watch the episode (only in Dutch).