Project news

Project news January 2017 - June 2018

  • For the first time in 13 years we are working on a population assessment of I. delicatissima on St. Eustatius. This would be the first comprehensive update since 2004 (Fogarty et al. 2004). This assessment is part of a regional project including: Anguilla, St. Barths, and St. Eustatius. We will do this by walking random transects across the island. Students Sander van Staa and Sarinda Westerhout, both from the University of applied sciences in 's Hertogenbosch, helped out with the transects, and the tagging of iguanas.

Project news March 2017

  • Thanks to the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds Caribisch Gebied, we were able to make a monitoring guide with which everyone can help in monitoring the reptile species of St. Eustatius. 

Click HERE to download a pdf version of the monitoring guide. 

Project news 2016 - Present

  • After discovering a green iguana (Iguana iguana) in early 2016, we have since found 6 hybrid iguanas (a cross between the lesser Antillean iguana and the green iguana). This has been identified as the greatest threat towards the existance of I. delicatissima on St. Eustatius and many surrounding islands. Once hybridization has happened it is hard to control, as all hybrids have to be removed from the population. If nothing is done to stop hybridization, the population of I. delicatissima will eventually become extirpated. 

Project news January 2015 - July

  • Dutch student Janne Brouwers has returned from her internship on the isle of St. Eustatius. She has been involved in the project working on various conservation aspects related to the current population of our endemic iguana.

       Download your copy of the report

  • The assessment of the population size of Statias delicatissima is in full swing. From April 'till June, 60% of the island was scoured and 212 iguanas have been, of which 160 animals are individually identified and now participate in scientific research. Part of his MSc thesis project Dutch student Thijs van den Burg investigated the genetic population structure of Iguana delicatissima on Statia. His research involves blood sampling which allows us after laboratory DNA analysis to understand the population structure on the island. Questions such as possible hybridization with Iguana iguana, and  whether or not the various infrastructure on the island forms a barrier for populationdispersion can be answered with the results from his research project. Currently samples are analysed giving the first results by the end of the year. Furthermore, the population sensus has started by bead tagging adult iguanas which will be ongoing allowing the project to monitor the population closely.
  • To understand the home-range of the iguanas on Statia and how they utilize their diverse habitat we aim to conduct a telemetry study. We have shipped a first GSM-GPS satellite transmitter to the island to test if the system works. The test phase. Unfortunately our registered GSM provider was not covered on the island. Currently we are investigating other telemetry options.
  • It's a known fact our iguana population is dropping quickly. A recovery plan is restocking the island's iguana population by means of a headstarting program. Naturally deposited eggs from the wild will be relocated to a hatchery where hatchlings are kept until they are big enough to be released giving them a 'head start' in life and less vulnerable for (un)natural predators. To better understand the nesting behaviour of female iguanas and possibly improving conditions the Dutch student Tim van Wagensveld is doing his research on Statia for the coming months.

Project news October - December 2014

  • We haven't finished protecting our endemic Lesser Antillean Iguana yet but we leave 2014 behind us succesfully. With the great support from our public supporters we have managed to collect nearly 3,000 US$ which will be used for the construction of nestingsites and mitigate direct threats to the Lesser Antillean Iguana which is the plan for 2015.
  • A major threat to I. delicatissima is the common green iguana (I. iguana). It is crucial that this particular iguana species doesn't reach St Eustatius because this will mean the end of delicatissima as he already has displaced native species on many other islands. Other invasive alien species can cause serious problems for native biodiversity. Therefore, a booklet describing Alien Invasive Species has been drafted which will be published next year. This book will be used by the local island customs to identify non-native species and to ensure that Statia keeps its native biodiversity for generations to come.

Project news August - September 2014

  • The RAVON foundation has participated in a meeting together with Stichting Doelgroep Groene Leguanen, Wageningen University, WWF-NL IUCN-ISG members and IUCN-NL to discuss the 'conservation action plan' for the Lesser Antillean Iguana on St. Eustatius. Discussed was how each of the participants could contribute to assist STENAPA and local authorities in protecting I. delicatissima on St. Eustatius.
  • Vroege Vogels has visited Statia.
  • STENAPA has been distributing information leaflets about the iguana on the island.

       Download your copy of the leaflet

Project news April - May 2014

  • RAVON is committed to the protection of the endemic and globally endangered iguana, Iguana delicatissima, which has a small population on the isle of St. Eustatius. During a brief visit to the island, together with a conference and opening of a new research center on the island, contact was made with local conservation organization STENAPA.
  • STENAPA carried out a questionnaire among local island people to gain insight in the local perception of the Lesser Antillean iguana.

       Download your copy of the report