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Iguana Specialist Group




Ne wsletter

IUCN - the World Conservation Union
Species Survival Commission

Volume 6 * Number 1 * Spring 2003


IN THIS ISSUE

* Iguanas in the News ................. 1
* News & Comments .................. 6
* Taxon Reports ....................... 8
Cyclura cychlura inornata........... 8
Cyclura cychlura ................... 13
Cyclura nubila nubila............. 16
Brachylophus vitiensis ............. 17
Ctenosaura baker ................ 18
* Recent Literature ................. 20
* ISG contact information .......... 20


ISG Newsletter
Published by the
Zoological Society of San Diego
Applied Conservation Division
P.O. Box 120551, San Diego, CA 92112
USA



TZO11V I? I 1 T6
0 O

or Im '
Editors:
Tandora Grant
Allison Alberts


Iguanas in the News


In the Bahamas, Some Islanders Indulge a Taste for the Dwindling Iguana
Miami Herald - July 7, 2002
By Curtis Morgan
"No, man, nobody eats the iguana anymore." Rufus Saunders smiles into
his taxi rear-view at the question from wildlife biologist Joe Wasilewski. The
appetite for the spectacular lizards of Andros, among the largest iguanas in the
world, has all but vanished with old-timers, Saunders assures him. "But if you
catch one, Joe, bring it to me," the taxi driver says, delivering his punch line with
laughter. "Once you've had iguana, you'll never want steak again."
The iguana that Wasilewski has come to see is one of 17 sprinkled across
the Bahamas, Jamaica, Cuba and other islands that the World Conservation Union
collectively considers "among the most endangered of the world's lizards." They all
face common threats. Development consumes arid forests where they dwell.
Goats and cows munch native plants they feed on. Cats, dogs and hogs fatten up
on eggs and young lizards. But there is an additional concern for the Andros
Island iguana. Islanders may be helping to eat them toward oblivion. Though the
iguana has been protected by Bahamian law for more than 30 years, its reputation
as favored Androsian fare has stubbornly persisted, says Eric Carey, wildlife
conservation officer for the Bahamas' Department of Agriculture. "I have been
told by local people that they are still eating iguanas," Carey said, "but we don't
know what the real threats are or even how many of these animals are left."
For the first time, researchers are making major strides toward answering
many of those questions about the iguana of Andros, where razor-edged rock,
thorny scrub and thirsty mosquitoes make scientific scrutiny difficult and poten-
tially hazardous. Some of the groundbreaking work is being done by Chuck
Knapp, a conservation biologist with the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, who is
conducting the first comprehensive survey here. After four years of forays into
treacherous terrain, Knapp has charted declines serious enough that he intends to
recommend to the conservation union that the iguana be downgraded from
"vulnerable" to the more serious "endangered." A population that once numbered
20,000 has dwindled to "no more than 5,000," Knapp says. And that's likely an
optimistic estimate based on the fact that so much of the clump of mangrove-
fringed islands that make up Andros, the largest land mass in the Bahamas,
remains sparsely populated with just 8,000 people. Still, the pressure of those few
people, most living on the northern part of an island where old logging roads






crisscross a prime iguana habitat, has pushed most remain-
ing lizards to the largely unspoiled middle and south
sections and cays. "Up north," said Knapp, "they're just
about gone."
That assessment applies to more than a dozen
iguanas from the Bahamas to Martinique, native creatures
that go back millions of years. Isolated to small islands,
they've evolved into eight separate species of iguana and 16
subspecies, says Allison Alberts, chief of applied conserva-
tion for the Zoological Society of San Diego and co-chair of
the World Conservation Union [sic], the group of scientists
that developed a protection plan for the lizards two years
ago as populations slipped toward collapse. One, the
Jamaican iguana, was actually considered extinct before a
wild hog hunter's dog caught one in 1990, leading to the
discovery of a wild population numbering fewer than 100.
It and several other species, confined to only one or a
handful of islands, are considered at critically high risk.
"Some of these iguanas are functionally extinct,"
said Wasilewski, a Homestead biologist who is president of
the nonprofit International Iguana Society, formed to help
protect the lizards. "These are magnificent creatures, and
we don't want to see them disappear."
In the wild, the iguanas are mesmerizing, literally
down-sized dinosaurs, and strikingly beautiful despite scaly
skin and horns. The Andros iguana appears dusted in
charcoal soot, a darkness offset by intensely colored splashes
of coral and mustard. Until the introduction of European
exotics like dogs and cows, they were the largest land
animals on the islands - reaching five feet in length and 20
pounds in the case of the Andros and Cuban varieties.
Until Knapp began his surveys, there had been no
accurate counts and scant field studies of the Andros
iguana. Little was known about nesting, aside from its
habits of laying a clutch of four to 15 eggs in termite
mounts. Knapp, who is studying the iguanas as part of his
doctoral work at the University of Florida, has already
documented a number of
previously unobserved
behaviors, including one
that might be considered
heartwarming if the crea-
tures weren't cold-blooded.
For about three weeks after
laying eggs, females refuse to
leave their nests, guarding
them against other females.
Despite being surrounded
by humans, one iguana held
her ground, repeatedly

Chuck Knapp checks a South Andros Island iguana that he
tagged with beads. Photo by Marice Cohn Band.


scrambling atop the crumbly soil clump where something
- snakes or crabs, perhaps - had already eaten her eggs.
"It's just the instinct to protect," Knapp said.
He also intends to survey the culinary habitats of
islanders, but his initial findings haven't been as rich.
Knapp found one legendary hunter, a North Andros man
who goes by "Old Iron," who still claims to fill regular
orders for iguana, and Knapp has seen enough spent shot-
gun shells on cays to know somebody is still out there eating
lizards. But most younger generations seem to offer a
reflexive smirk at the suggestion. And older folks like taxi
driver Saunders and Leroy Bannister, an 85-year-old spinner
of yarns and wisdom on nearby Mangrove Cay, freely admit
to a past of spearing, shooting and tracking iguanas. But
they also say they stopped after 1968, when the government
passed a sweeping wildlife law that outlawed the killing of
iguanas. "If anything", said Bannister over a cold Kalik in
his waterside bar, the Aqua Marine Club, "there are more
iguana than ever. They're out there in the bush, but you
have to know where to find them."
Andros, of course, isn't the only island where people
have eaten iguana, but biologists and Bahamian authorities
believe it is one of the last islands where the lizard is still
regularly pursued. With a culture and economy largely
untouched by the glitz of Nassau, a large lizard provides a
ready supplement to the diet of spongers, crabbers and
others who struggle to live off the sea and land. "If they
don't necessarily find a hog, which they go in search of,
they'll take an iguana," said Sandra Buckner, an iguana
authority and past president of the Bahamas National Trust,
which manages the islands' national parks.
For those trying to save the iguana, there are some
encouraging signs that tastes will change with time and
education. Bahamian authorities have encouraged school
visits by Knapp, whom locals have taken to calling "iguana
man," and he's printed up "Save the Andros Iguana" T-shirts
to further spread the message. The government, says
Buckner, also has set aside land for ten new parks this year,
including five areas on Andros, and the research of Knapp
and others may yet uncover populations hidden deep in the
interior. And, as an eco-tourism industry emerges on
Andros with the promise of money, many islanders seem to
be coming to value the iguana in a new way, says Carey, the
Bahamas wildlife conservation officer. "People are going to
be more inclined to seeing the animal alive than in the pot,"
he said.


ISG Newsletter 6(1) * Spring 2003







Iguana Traumas in the Bahamas
Boston Globe - December 31, 2002
By Emily Sohn
SAN SALVADOR, Bahamas - Biologist Bill Hayes crouches
down on his knees, holding an apple slice out to a wary
iguana. "Ron, look how fat he is!" he says to his colleague,
Ron Carter. Both are from Loma Linda University in
California and, for the first time, they are checking out a
small group of iguanas that live at a Club Med resort on San
Salvador Island in the Bahamas. To their surprise, the cat-
sized lizards look exceptionally healthy. "He's so fat com-
pared to what we normally see." The red-hued iguana bobs
its head, but doesn't budge from its spot 5 feet away. "He's
saying: 'I want grapes, not apples,"' Carter says.
Few Bahamian iguanas can afford to be so picky.
All eight species of Rock Iguanas that live in the West Indies
are among the most endangered lizards in the world. The
San Salvador species - one of three that live in the Bahamas
- are in especially bad shape. Fewer than 300 individuals
remain. But hope for their survival is slowly building,
thanks to Hayes, Carter, and a handful of other dedicated
researchers. Through educational projects and long-term
studies, lizard scientists are coming up with new models for
conservation, including relocating the iguanas to more
hospitable areas, and the still-controversial idea of letting
the reptiles run wild in the protected confines of resorts like
Club Med.
Arriving from the South American mainland more
than 25 million years ago, iguanas used to live all over the
Caribbean. But, as people and their pets have overtaken the
islands, iguana populations have plummeted. Some iguanas
are caught for the pet trade, and some people still hunt the
lizards for food despite laws prohibiting the practice. And
tour boats routinely visit certain islands, bringing hundreds
of tourists to see - and often disturb - the animals, according
to biologist John Iverson of Earlham College in Richmond,
Ind. "I've seen people throw Styrofoam, raw hamburgers,
you name it. Anything people on a boat could throw out,
they do." The animals can get sick and die from eating
things they're not supposed to, and the more they get used
to people, the easier they are to catch.
But feral animals may be the biggest threat to the
iguanas' existence. When Iverson started his research in the
Turks and Caicos in 1978, an estimated 15,000 iguanas
covered a deserted island that measured only two square
miles. When construction began on a luxury hotel, workers
started moving to the island with their dogs and cats. The
pets saw the reptiles as prey, and the iguana population
began to plummet. Just three years later, only a handful of
iguanas remained.
The first step toward saving iguanas, most research-
ers say, is learning more about their basic needs. Iverson, for
one, has been going to the Exumas island chain in the


Bahamas every year for 22 years to collect data on the
Allen Cays iguanas, making his the longest ongoing study
of iguanas ever. "Because it is a long-term study," he said,
"we have been able to amass information on growth and
aging that no one has on any other lizard population in
the world."
His research has shown, for example, that Allen
Cays iguanas can live for more than 40 years and that it
takes them at least 12 years to reach sexual maturity.
Preliminary evidence from Iverson's ongoing project
suggests that Allen Cays iguana females may reproduce
only once every three years. There are fewer than 1,000
Allen Cays iguanas left on only two islands, making them
especially vulnerable to storm surges and other threats. "If
it takes them 12 to 14 years to be mature, and when they


Cyclura riley rileyi on Green Cay. Photo by Tandora Grant.

get to be mature, they only nest once every three years,"
Iverson said, "it's going to take a long time for a popula-
tion to recover if something terrible happens."
To avoid that kind of catastrophe, experts stress
the importance of protecting critical habitats, and the
Bahamian government has been moving in that direction
with the recent designation of ten new national parks.
But enforcement is difficult in a country made of 700
scattered islands.
Trying to save the iguanas, several research groups
have been relocating iguanas to new islands that provide
plenty of food and places to hide, with fewer people,
animals, and other threats. So far, the strategy seems to be
working. In one case, Iverson moved eight iguanas from
the Allen Cays to a small island nearby with a similar
habitat. Now, 10 years later, there are more than 80
individuals in the transplanted population. "This island
population is just growing by leaps and bounds," he said.
"Now, we have an auxiliary population should something
happen to the others."
Similarly, researchers from the San Diego Zoo
moved 200 iguanas last year from a particularly threatened
island in the Turks and Caicos to several other regions
where the animals used to live. Already, the transplanted


ISG Newsletter 6(1) * Spring 2003






iguanas have started reproducing, and they appear to be
growing rapidly, said San Diego Zoo conservation biologist
Allison Alberts. "They're doing just great," she said. "We're
really thrilled with that."
The lesson is simple, said biologist Chuck Knapp
of the University of Florida at Gainesville, who is studying
both iguanas and people's reactions to them on Andros
Island, in the northern Bahamas. "Iguanas can be a flagship
species for conservation," he said. "If people leave them
alone, they'll do fine."
Even people who live far from the tropics can do
their part to help, Iverson said, by resisting the urge to buy
West Indian iguanas as pets. Just like South American
green iguanas, which are not endangered, the West Indian
iguanas require a much bigger commitment than most
people realize because they live so long and grow to be so
huge. "Don't buy on impulse a cute little baby iguana,"
Iverson said. "I know people who will probably die before
their iguana does."
Surprisingly, tourism also may be one of the keys to
saving Bahamian iguanas, suggests some serendipitous
research on San Salvador. Ten years ago, tour guides from
the Club Med on the island snagged a handful of endan-
gered San Salvador iguanas from nearby Green Cay and
brought the animals back to the resort for a tourist attrac-
tion. For the first time this October, Hayes and Carter were
given access to the Club Med reptiles, where they caught
and measured three of the estimated 15 iguanas there. The
results were striking, Hayes said. "All three were just way
off the scale. They were far and away larger than anything
we've caught on Green Cay."
The Club Med iguanas are probably so successful,
the researchers say, because they have more food, more
places to hide, and protection from feral animals. Last year,
the Club Med iguanas even started reproducing. But
experts remain cautiously optimistic about the potential to
use hotel resorts as models for conservation. It would be
easy for tourists to steal the reptiles, which can sell for up to
$4,000 on the black market, or feed them the wrong kinds
of food. Careful monitoring would be essential. "Our
initial feeling was that this is terrible," Hayes said. "But
now we're starting to see that maybe this is not such a bad
idea." Even iguanas, it seems, might benefit from a Club
Med vacation.


The following press release was distributed July 23, 2002
and became the basis for numerous newspaper articles in the
US and internationally.

International Iguana Foundation Leads International
Effort to Save Grand Cayman Blue Iguana from
Extinction
Prompted by alarming new statistics on the popula-
tion of the Grand Cayman blue iguana, scientists sponsored
by the International Iguana Foundation (IIF) are mobilizing
a response to this crisis that could involve the removal of the
last remaining wild specimens to the safety of captivity.
Such a move would be similar to the efforts to rescue the
California condor nearly 20 years ago, which has become a
highly successful conservation program.
In a report issued June 22, 2002 by Fred Burton,
Director of the Iguana Recovery Program of the National
Trust for the Cayman Islands, it is estimated that only 10 to
25 blue iguanas remain in the wild (down from 100 to 200
estimated in a 1993 survey). The new population figures
make blue iguanas one of the most critically endangered
reptile species in the world. Including blue iguanas living at
US zoos/aquariums and a captive facility in Grand Cayman
as part of a species recovery plan, an estimated total of 91 to
120 blue iguanas exist worldwide.
The report is a result of surveys conducted between
December 2001 and June 2002 as part of the Blue Iguana
Recovery Plan, a document detailing wide-ranging conserva-
tion measures of the blue iguana. The stated purpose of the
plan is "to restore a wild population of the Grand Cayman
blue iguana sufficient to remain viable in the long term."
The new report concluded that without intervention and
immediate preventative measures, the surviving wild
population would be functionally extinct within the next
five years.
The report further states, "Since 1993 the habitat
occupied by Blue Iguanas (not including the managed
population released by the Trust in the QE II Botanic Park)
has shrunk from approximately 7.0 to 3.7 square kilometers,
and within the remaining range the population has been
reduced approximately five-fold. Many of the surviving
iguanas are isolated, with only one location identified where
breeding has occurred in the last two years."
Once in abundance, iguana populations throughout
the Caribbean islands began to decline with the advance of
colonization. The situation on Grand Cayman is com-
pounded by rapidly expanding development on the small
island. In the wake of encroaching civilization, pristine
habitats were destroyed and replaced with residential and
commercial development that continues today, leaving
virtually no natural habitat for the iguana.


ISG Newsletter 6(1) * Spring 2003






The few remaining blue iguanas are isolated
small habitat pockets. Uncontrolled feral cats kill me
the young iguanas, while some of the adult iguanas ai
killed by free-ranging domestic dogs or hit by cars wl
basking on new roadways as the human population e
throughout the island.
"In the long term, it is clear that the future o
blue iguanas must now rest on managed populations
protected areas," says Burton. "Sufficient protected h;
does not currently exist to support the numbers ofwi
iguanas that are needed to secure the future of the sp(
Additional protected habitat for blue iguanas is there
essential."
The short-term outlook for this rare iguana
likely depend on captive programs, both in Grand Ca
(in situ) and the US (ex situ). The ex situ program co
of the American Association of Zoos and Aquariums
Rock Iguana Species Survival Plan (SSP), which will
attempt to maintain a stable and genetically diverse c;
population of 225 iguanas as a hedge against extinctiu
the wild. In the absence of wild sub-populations, the
captive iguanas effectively will become the backup po
tion. The success of this effort will require the comm
of more zoos to house and breed blue iguanas. New
dedicated iguana management facilities in warm-dim
southern zoos are desperately needed. Currently their
ten US zoos or aquariums housing a total of 24 blue
(plus some eggs and new hatchlings) as part of the SS
US blue iguanas are housed at the Bermuda
Aquarium; the National Zoo, Washington D.C.;
Sedgwick County Zoo, Wichita, KS; Tulsa Zoo;
Rosamond Gifford Zoo at Burnett Park,
Syracuse, NY; St. Catherine's Island Wildlife
Survival Center, Midway, GA (run by Wildlife
Conservation Society of the Bronx Zoo); Gladys
Porter Zoo, Brownsville, TX; Indianapolis Zoo;
Central Florida Zoo, Sanford, FL; and the
Shedd Aquarium, Chicago.
The in situ program will need to expand
the scope of its operation in order to generate
larger numbers of hatchling iguanas that can be
head-started for future release. The National
Trust for the Cayman Islands has managed a
captive breeding facility on Grand Cayman
since 1990, producing small numbers of iguanas
that are being released annually in the adjacent
Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park. The released
population has now grown to some 30 individu-
als, but the park's area is far too small to accom-
modate the recommended 1000-strong popula-
tion size needed for long-term viability. With
the Trust-run facility at maximum capacity, funds are
urgently needed to construct new breeding and rearir


in enclosures. The Disney Wildlife Conservation Fund,
)st of through the IIF, recently awarded a grant that will support
re the purchase of construction materials, but additional
tile funding is still needed to complete the project.
expands The IIF was established as a Texas non-profit 501
c(3) corporation in August 2001 in Fort Worth, Texas.
f wild Formed in response to the need for consistent funding for
in critical iguana conservation initiates, the IIF is composed of
habitat 12 board members representing the zoo, corporate and
Id private sectors. The IIF seeks to ensure the survival of all
ecies. iguana species through the promotion of a broad conserva-
fore tion agenda involving habitat protection, education,
scientific research, and captive management.
vill Extinction of the blue iguana is not inevitable, but
lyman the conservation community and its many supporters
insists worldwide must act decisively and quickly to prevent it.
(AZA) Additional donations (financial and supplies) are needed.
Tax deductible donations can be made to the International
aptive Iguana Foundation (International Iguana Foundation, 1989
on in Colonial Parkway, Fort Worth, TX 76110; Attention: Rick
SSP Hudson). For more information regarding the Blue Iguana
pula- Recovery Plan, visit www.cyclura.com. Currently the
itment website offers a number of blue iguana-related merchandise,
including a special "Got the Blues" poster featuring art of
ate the blue iguana, as well as mouse pads and blue iguana
e are apparel. All profits from the sale of these items go directly
iguanas to the Blue Iguana Recovery Program.
P. The




The Grand Cayman

Blue Iguana








Cyclura nubila lewisi


Species Recovery Plan
2001 -2006
Developed in a workshop held on 1lth-13th November 2001, in Grand
Cayman, supported by a grant from the British Government - Foreign &
Commonwealth Office, Environment Fund for the Overseas Territories.


ISG Newsletter 6(1) * Spring 2003







News & Comments

International Iguana Foundation Grants * The
International Iguana Foundation held their annual
board meeting in New Orleans on 23 March 2003 and
reviewed funding proposals. Grants totaling $67,230
(including $30,000 held over from 2002) were awarded
for the following five iguana conservation projects:
Conservation and Management of the Anegada
Iguana. $25,840. Glenn Gerber (Zoological Society of
San Diego) and Kelly Bradley (Dallas Zoo). This
project entails a monitored release of 32 iguanas on
Anegada and Fallen Jerusalem, iguana population
surveys on Anegada, a habitat suitability survey of
Fallen Jerusalem, and maintenance and enhancement of
the headstart facility. This release will allow a compari-
son of survival in two cohorts of juveniles released in
environments both with feral mammals (Anegada) and
without (Fallen Jerusalem).
Cyclura ricordi population and habitat surveys in
the Pedernales province of the DR. $11,000. Sixto
Inchaustegui (Grupo Jaragua). This project will con-
duct field surveys on one of the two known subpopula-
tion of the Critically Endangered Ricord's iguana in the
Jaragua - El Guano - Cabo Rojo - Pedernales region
that includes Parque Nacional Jaragua. This area
encompasses 46,900 hectares, much of it potential
habitat for C. ricordi. This project was one of the
primary recommendations from the C. ricordi Species
Recovery Plan workshop conducted in November
2002. The other subpopulation, Isla Cabritos, is better
known and is being surveyed using funding from the
Indianapolis Zoo.
Reproduction and survival in St. Lucian iguanas:
Breeding females, dispersing hatchlings and assessing the
role ofheadstarting. $5,390. AnnaTC Feistner (Durrell
Wildlife Conservation Trust). This study will result in
better understanding of location and dispersal of adult
females and improved hatchling survival, and allow
assessment of head-starting as a viable conservation tool
for St Lucia iguanas. Funding will be used for local
field assistants salary, expenses, and equipment.
Expansion of in situ captive facility for Cayman
Blue Iguana, and start-up for local revenue measures to
staffthe facility sustainable. $10,000. Fred Burton
(National Trust for the Cayman Islands). Funding also
will help develop a web-based sustainable revenue
stream to support the annual salary for the iguana


facility manager. The IIF funded the first year salary
for this position.
Jamaican Iguana Conservation and Recovery
Program. $15,000 (held over from 2002). Peter Vogel
(University of the West Indies). Funding for this
ongoing field program will provide annual operating
costs for the recovery efforts including protection of
nest sites, monitoring of nesting females, collection of
hatchlings for headstarting, and continued surveys and
monitoring of the Hellshire Hills.
In ranking grants for funding the IIF gives
preference to projects that are components of ap-
proved Species Recovery Plans, are included in the
ISG's Conservation Action Plan for West Indian
Iguanas or are ISG endorsed, projects that directly
contribute to the survival of endangered iguanas and
their habitats, and those that are part of established
conservation programs.

e Rick Hudson
Fort Worth Zoo
RHudson@fortworthzoo.org




H erpetofauna ofAnguilla * The Reptiles and
Amphibians of Anguilla, British West Indies, by
Karim Hodge, Ellen Censky, and Robert Powell has
just been published. This book will be available from
Bibliomania (www.herplit.com) in the near future.
ALL proceeds from copies purchased now, directly
from Bob Powell, will go to the Anguilla National
Trust. The book has 72 pages and about 100 color
photographs and
illustrations.
To order a copy
now, please send a check
made out to the Anguilla
National Trust for $17
(includes $2 for S/H) to
Robert Powell at the
address below.

Robert Powell, Ph.D.
Department of Biology
Avila University
11901 Wornall Road
Kansas City, MO 64145
powellr@mail.avila.edu


ISG Newsletter 6(1) * Spring 2003








H erpetofauna of Guadeloupe * A new book
entitled "Histoire Naturelle des Amphibiens et
Reptiles Terrestres de L'Archipel Guadeloupien.
Guadeloupe, Saint-Martin, Saint-Barthdlemy" by
Michel Breuil was recently published by the Museum
National D'Histoire Naturelle in Paris. It is part of the
museum series: Collection Patrimoines Naturels,
volume 54. Order details at: http://www.mnhn.fr/
publication/order.html
The first chapter deals with historical geology
in connection with speciation events and with the
islands' habitats. The second is a presentation of
observations made by early chroniclers and naturalist
travellers from the Paris Museum who collected
herpetofauna. The third chapter is an analysis of the
herpetofauna from both historical and biogeographical
points of view.
Six anuran,
five chelonian, 21
lizard (including four
extinct), and seven
snake species are
considered. The
presentation of each
species begins with a
systematic account,
and then it is de-
scribed with numer-
ous unpublished
color photographs,
maps, and line
drawings. Detailed
information on
habitat, biology-ecology, reproduction, and sometimes
protection needs and regression factors are given.



2003 ISG Meeting

This year's ISG Annual Meeting will be held in the
Turks and Caicos Islands. The meeting will be
21-23 November, including a one-day field trip to
Little Water Cay to observe Cyclura carinata carinata.
A Conservation Management Plan Workshop for
C. c. carinata will follow on 24-25 November.


JCN SSC WEST INDIAN IGUANA SPECIALIST GROUP

......


I WORKING TO SAVE THE WORLD'S MOST ENDANGERED IZARDS
I SG Merchandise * T-shirts desgined by Iguana
Specialist Group members are available in all sizes
for purchase. Printing of the shirts was the generous
donation of Allen Repashy of Southswell ScreenArts.
The t-shirt above was designed by Jeff Lemm and
features sparing male Cuban iguanas. The t-shirt
below depicts John Bendon's Andros iguana. Both
shirts are ash-gray in color and cost $15 ($12 goes to
support ISG activities). To place an order, please send
checks made out to the International Iguana Founda-
tion to Jeff Lemm, San Diego Zoo, PO BOX 120551,
San Diego, CA 92112.


Mouse pads and posters benefitting the Grand
Cayman Blue Iguana Recovery Program are
available for purchase online.
Visit http://www.BlueIguana.ky/shop2.html


ISG Newsletter 6(1) * Spring 2003







Taxon Reports


Allen Cays iguana (Cyclura cychlura inornata)

May 2002
For only the second year in the past 22 of our long-
term study, we censused in May instead of March.
This allowed us to paint identification numbers on the
adult females and precluded the need to handle females
during our mid-June to mid-July nesting season trip.
Unlike the cold temperatures we experienced in
May 2001, the weather was hot and perfect for the first
half of this year's work. In fact, we captured 159
iguanas on Leaf Cay in the first 6 hours on the island!
However, the last half of our trip was mostly overcast,
often accompanied by drizzle or even heavy rain.
Nevertheless, we shattered the previous record (427) by
capturing 499 iguanas (Table 1). We also observed one
copulation on Leaf Cay (ca. 3 PM; 20 May) and one
on U Cay (ca. 9 AM; 18 May). Both occurred on the
large beach of the respective islands, and lasted less
than one minute.
Tail breaks frequencies in our large sample were
quite low: Leaf Cay females, 10.4%; Leaf Cay males,
7.7%; U Cay females, 8.1%; U Cay males, 8.0%. Sex
ratios were not significantly different from unity, with
173 females and 155 males captured on Leaf Cay, 63
females and 74 males captured on U Cay, and 4
females and 2 males captured on Allen Cay.
This year we recorded the precise capture
location of nearly every iguana we captured. The most
striking aspect of these data was that on Leaf Cay at
least 154 of 350 total captures (44%) were made on
the big west beach (site of most tourist activity), an
area comprising only about 2% of the island. Clearly,
feeding activity on this beach is drawing most of the
island's adult and subadult iguanas there (see below).
During this May trip, we also implanted an
additional 26 iguanas with PIT tags, and have now
PIT-tagged a total of 440 lizards (Table 2). We had
expected to implant more tags, but since we caught so
many iguanas, we did not have sufficient time to do so.
We continue to maintain the position that a combina-
tion of toe clips and PIT tags is the most reliable and
least intrusive method for marking these iguanas,
although tagging is expensive. We plan to make a
major effort in 2003 to PIT tag as many additional


iguanas as possible. Finally, with duct tape we at-
tached radiotransmitters to the top of the base of the
tail of 15 large female iguanas captured on the big west
beach of Leaf Cay in order to relocate them in June.

June-July 2002
From 15 June to 13 July former students Kirsten
Hines and Jen Valiulis and I again camped on Leaf
Cay in order to study nesting behavior of the Allen's
Cays iguana. It was our subjective sense that our June-
July time was cooler this year than last year; we will
eventually retrieve our temperature loggers from the
field to quantify any real differences. Interestingly,
precisely the same amount of rain fell during our
month in 2001 and in 2002: 2.42" (6.1 cm). How-
ever, from comments made by boaters, much more
rain fell in late May and early June (before our arrival)
in 2002 than in 2001.
Females had already begun digging nest bur-
rows on U Cay by our arrival on 16 June, but did not
begin digging on Leaf Cay until 17 June. The first
actual nest was constructed on U Cay on 18 June (1
day later than in 2001) and on Leaf Cay on 24 June (3
days later than in 2001). Nesting continued on U Cay
until 10 July (mean date = 26 June, the same as in
2001), and on Leaf Cay until at least 12 July (mean
date = 4 July, one day earlier than in 2001). The Leaf
Cay female that we saw copulating in May finished her
nest on 24 June, 35 days later. In addition, we are
certain that a small number of additional females
nested on Leaf Cay after our departure, because we
had observed them excavating preliminary burrows
and defending those sites before we left.
By our arrival in June, eight of the 15 transmit-
ters we had attached in May had fallen off. However,
the others remained attached long enough for us locate
females and follow their movements. Of these seven
iguanas, only one apparently skipped reproduction this
year and remained on or near the big west beach the
entire month. The other six migrated to the interior of
the island (one) or clear across the island (five). Five of
these were known to nest, and the other apparently
nested (although we did not find the nest). Clearly,
females migrate considerable distances across the island
to nest. In addition, we found that although some
females returned to precisely the same sites to nest this
year as they did last year, some were quite distant. For
example, one female last year nested along the coast on
the eastern slope of the middle of the eastern sandy


ISG Newsletter 6(1) * Spring 2003







SCAY AF CAY___________


Year Captures Recaps %Recaps # marked # Recaps Captures Recaps %Recaps # marked #Recaps
1980 30 0 0 30 0 14 0 0 14 0
1982 43 9 21 64 9 50 3 6 61 3
1983 48 25 52 87 34 51 26 51 86 29
1986 75 37 49 125 71 79 19 24 146 48
1988 111 58 52 178 129 109 59 54 196 107
1990 113 83 74 208 212 136 81 60 251 188
1992 124 89 72 243 301 148 102 69 297 290
1993 34 33 97 244 334 94 73 78 316 363
1994 150 94 63 300 428 204 110 54 410 473
1995 123 106 86 317 534 150 125 83 435 598
1996 113 86 76 344 620 177 126 71 486 724
1998 95 79 83 360 699 205 150 73 541 874
2000 169 124 73 405 823 254 175 69 620 1049
2001a 140 110 79 435 933 284 220 77 679 1274
2001b 40 34 -- 441 967 209 89 -- 799 1363
2002c 143 118 83 460 1085 350 266 76 880 1629
2002d 37 34 -- 463 1118 147 72 -- 945 1701

Table I above. Recapture information by year for Allen Cays iguanas. Total number of captures for U Cay is 1581 (463 + 1118)
lizards, and 2646 (945 + 1701)for Leaf Cay. All trips for 1980 through 2000 were in mid-March. Trips in 2001 and 2002 were in
mid-May and mid-June to mid-July. a. Excludes one additional capture on Allen Cay and two captures on Flat Rock Reef Cay; b.
Excludes six additional captures (including one recapture) on Allen Cay; c. Excludes six additional captures (including three
recaptures) on Allen Cay; d. Excludes one additional capture (a recapture) on Allen Cay.

Table 2 below. Tally of pit tags deployed and their success rates for Allen Cays iguanas. True Tag Failures (tags are palpable under
skin, but no signal), and Other Tag Failures (tags not palpable and no signal). Data for 2001 and 2002 are for May captures only.
a. Excludes pit tags placed in three Allen Cays iguanas.


1993 5 5 0 11 11 0
1994 13 18 3 0 0 3 14 5 0 0
1995 52 70 10 0 0 19 33 8 0 0
1996 56 126 36 0 0 56 89 19 0 1
1998 0 126 57 0 3 77 166 49 1 2
2000 29 155 74 0 1 55 221 80 0 2
2001 24 179 75 0 0 14 235 93 1 2
2002a 6 185 65 0 0 20 255 65 2 0


ridge of Leaf Cay (in a very open area only a few
meters from the high-tide line), and this year nested in
the interior of the island (in an opening surrounded by
tall thatch palms).
We excavated a total of 39 nests with attending
females (37 by known females and two uncertain).
Eggs were counted, measured and weighed, and all
clutches were returned to their nest chambers and the
burrow refilled with soil in the same configuration as
when initially found. When we left each processed
nest, the attending female immediately returned to the
site and resumed defense. Miniature temperature data
loggers were placed among the eggs of 15 nests to
monitor incubation temperatures. We plan to return
to the cays in October to check on egg survivorship in
the marked nests.
Nest burrows averaged 1.59 meters in total
length from entrance to end of egg chamber (only one


cm shorter than last year on average!) and the depth to
the bottom of egg chamber averaged 28.0 cm (0.5 cm
deeper than in 2001). Like last year, the orientation of
the initial opening of nest burrows was random, and
burrows were not associated with a particular vegeta-
tion type. Mean percent canopy cover from a
densiometer placed on the ground directly above the
egg clutch averaged 22.2%, only 0.3% higher than last
year. Nest depth was inversely related to densiometer
readings (i.e., canopy cover) in 2001, suggesting that
females may adjust burrow depth to achieve preferred
temperatures therein (i.e., shadier sites require shal-
lower nests). However, that relationship was not
statistically significant this year, apparently because
several females this year nested under sea oats, which
provide high values of shade, but in reality are much
hotter sites than those shaded by overhead bushes. The
temperature loggers we placed in the 15 nests should


ISG Newsletter 6(1) * Spring 2003


L CA LFA CAY�


Year


ITCAY


LEAF CAY


Cumulative


Cum ilative


U CAY


LEAF CAY


# Newly
Tagged


Tagged to
Date


Tagged
Recaps


True Tag
Failures


Other Tag
Failures


# Newly
Tagged


Tagged to
Date


Tagged
Recaps


True Tag
Failures


Other Tag
Failures






allow us to further examine these thermal relationships
this fall.
Like last year, females defended nests vigor-
ously, chasing away all other iguanas (even large males)
from an area of at least eight meters diameter around
the nest. Nest defense continued until the time we left
the islands (i.e., at least three weeks for many females),
demonstrating that nest defense is very protracted.
Distances between the closest nests (both years com-
bined) were 5.3, 6.1, 6.9, 6.9, 7.2, 7.2, 7.6, and 7.6 m.
Adjacent females at these closest nests were frequently
involved in aggressive encounters midway between
their nests.
Nesting females this year ranged from 27.0 cm
to 38.9 cm SVL (mean 31.6), compared to 26.5 cm to
38.9 cm SVL (mean 32.5) last year. Six of 37 nesting
females measured less than 29 cm SVL, compared to
only three of 43 females in 2001. The three youngest
nesting females with good age-history records were
13.8, 13.8, and 13.8 years posthatching, compared to
13.8, 14.8 and 14.8 years last year. Our data suggest
that sexual maturity in females is reached between 13
and 15 years, and at a SVL of 26 cm and body mass of
750 grams. Small adult females do not nest every year,
whereas large females typically nest annually. On
average, our data suggest that across all females only
about a third reproduce in a given year. Since a typical
clutch accounts for about 16.5% of a female's body
mass, it apparently takes smaller females a longer time
to recoup the energy they deposit in a clutch of eggs.
Clutch size averaged 4.4 eggs (range 1-8) in
2002, compared to 4.8 eggs (range 2-9) in 2001,
although the difference is not statistically significant.
Egg length and egg mass were not significantly differ-
ent from those in 2001 (overall EL = 66.0 mm; EM =
49.4 g; n = 326); however, egg width was significantly
larger in 2002 (mean = 36.0) than in 2001 (34.9 mm),
though only by about 1 mm. As last year, larger
females laid bigger clutches of larger eggs in longer
burrows and earlier in the season than smaller females.
However, smaller females laid longer eggs than larger
females (though the eggs were narrower and had
less mass).
We also continued our mark and recapture
program on each island, capturing 137 iguanas on Leaf
Cay that were not among the 350 others captured in
May 2002. Very few subadult or adult iguanas avoided
capture on Leaf Cay this year. This total (487) suggests
that the population on Leaf Cay must be between 500


and 600 (excluding young of the year), slightly higher
than our previous estimates. We also captured 36 more
iguanas on U Cay in addition to the 143 captured in
May, and these numbers do not alter our earlier esti-
mate of about 300 iguanas (excluding young of the
year) on U Cay. Between both trips this year we cap-
tured a total of 678 iguanas in the Allen Cays; that is,
perhaps 70% of all Allen Cays iguanas in existence.
Censuses of iguana populations this complete are very
rare. Including all of this year's field work, we have
made a total of 1581 captures on U Cay and 2646 on
Leaf Cay (an amazing overall total of 4227, not count-
ing captures on Allen's Cay or Flat Rock Reef Cay) since
the study began in 1980.
We were also able to survey Allen's Cay during
both May and June, capturing seven adult iguanas (four
males, three females). We saw no juveniles this year.
We still estimate the population on Allen's Cay to be at
least 11 (distributed from the northern to southern ends
of the island), but surely not much higher than that.
We did find a couple of sinkholes with soil accumula-
tions that may allow successful incubation in some
years, but they were soggy wet this year due to the late
May rains (and hence unsuitable for nesting this year).
The most surprising finding this year was the
capture on Allen's Cay of a large male iguana originally
marked on Leaf Cay in 1986, recaptured again in 1988,
1990, 1992, 1993, and 1994, and never seen again
until now. We have never before had any evidence of
inter-island movement in these iguanas, so the question
remains as to whether human transport was involved in
this case. The fact that this iguana was only 35.8 cm
SVL when last seen in 1994, and is now 56.0 cm SVL
(larger than any male we have ever captured on Leaf
Cay by 10 cm), demonstrates that it is the environment
on Allen's Cay that produces the gigantism there (i.e., it
is not genetically based). Our favored hypothesis is that
the gigantism is a result of the very low competition for
food on Allen's Cay. This is supported by the rapid
growth and large size of the Leaf Cay iguanas intro-
duced to Alligator Cay in the Exumas Land and Sea
Park, and studied by Chuck Knapp.
Scores of dead Audubon's shearwaters were
again found on Allen's Cay this year, including some
freshly killed (i.e., less than a day old, and not at all
rotten). The very precise and complete removal of all
the breast muscles now makes it clear to us that raptors
(rather than iguanas) must be involved in this depreda-
tion. Osprey and barn owls regularly roost on the


ISG Newsletter 6(1) * Spring 2003






island and were frequently seen this year, and represent
the likely cause of the many shearwater deaths. In June
we also chased a large iguana deep into its retreat, and
as it pulled farther back into the rocky tunnel, a huge,
nearly fledged shearwater (standing height perhaps
10") pushed its way past the iguana unharmed. It thus
seems likely that these iguanas are not active bird
predators, but rather opportunistic scavengers or
perhaps predators of very young birds.
We again found numerous carcasses of iguanas
on both islands (U Cay = six in May, two in June-July;
Leaf Cay = six in May and 12 in June-July), although
cause of death was not obvious for any of them. All
carcasses and/or skeletal remains were salvaged and
given to Sandra Buckner for archival purposes. We
continue to be distressed about the number of carcasses
we are finding. Most troublesome was the discovery of
the bloated carcasses of two huge Leaf Cay males (one
on the big west beach, and one on the rocks to the
south of the beach), both of which seemed otherwise
in good shape. One had even been caught in May
2002 and the other in May 2001, and both were
perfectly healthy then. Unfortunately they were too
rotten to necropsy.
We believe that the number of large males on
Leaf Cay is not only unnaturally low, but also declin-
ing. Although U Cay is much smaller than Leaf Cay
(and much more rocky, and hence less productive), on
the north beach on U Cay we captured 23 to 25 large
males (i.e., here defined as over 40 cm SVL) in the
years 2000-2002 (representing 12.8 to 14.8% of all
captures). A decade ago, in 1990 and 1992, large
males also represented 12.4 to 14.5% of all captures on
U Cay. In 1990 and 1992 on Leaf Cay, we captured
only 15 large males (10.1 to 11.0% of all captures).
However, in March of 2000, we captured 14 large
males on Leaf Cay (only 5.5% of captures!). In 2001
(with very thorough censusing, and May-July data
combined) we captured only 11 large males (2.2% of
the total sample), and in 2002 we captured only 10
(2.0% of the total sample). These numbers suggest to
us that the number of large males on Leaf Cay may be
far below what would be expected based on island size,
and that those that remain may be experiencing unusu-
ally high mortality.
The problem may be related to the fact that
nearly all large males on Leaf Cay are located near the
feeding beaches. For example, in 2002, seven of the
ten large captured males were on the big west beach,


two were captured on the adjacent beach near the
house, and one was captured just over the ridge from
that beach. These numbers do not include the two
large dead males also found on and near the big beach.
This concentration of large males on Leaf Cay at the
feeding beaches no doubt intensifies aggressive behavior
among males, but may also put them at the highest risk
of consuming indigestible or toxic items offered by
tourists, since these males often are the first to beg
for food.
At some point, we need to address the issue of
feeding iguanas on these cays. It would be our recom-
mendation that feeding still be allowed on Leaf Cay
(but that a small kiosk be built on the beach on which
we could post the natural history information we have
collected along with clear guidelines about appropriate
foods to offer). Furthermore, we would recommend
that feeding be completely banned on U Cay, and that
a second kiosk be added with the same information,
but directing tourists to Leaf Cay for feeding. These
kiosks could also strongly suggest that since the islands
are private, visitors should restrict their activities to the
beaches, and that foot traffic on sandy areas above high
tide line during late June to September could result in
the trampling of nests.

October 2002
Kirsten Hines (Florida International University;
Earlham College '97), and I spent 2-6 October in the
Allen Cays excavating 39 iguana nests on Leaf and U
Cay that had been located and mapped in June and July
2001, as well as seven others located during this trip by
their tell-tale hatchling emergence hole or by checking
sites with nesting burrows that were still active on 13
July when we finished our summer field stay.
Although all hatchlings had emerged from their
nests by the time we arrived on 18 October in 2001,
our timing was perfect this year as we encountered 37
live hatchlings still in their nests, not having completed
their exit tunnels to the surface. Nests excavated the
first week of October 2002 that contained live
hatchlings (i.e., not yet emerged) had been completed
85, 86, 88 (two nests), or 89 (two nests) days earlier.
Four nests under construction on Leaf Cay when we
left on 13 July had hatched by our return in October
after maximum incubation times (i.e., since 13 July) of
82, 83, 84, and 84 days; the latter three nests contained
live hatchlings (the last in the act of hatching), but
hatchlings had already emerged from the first. Only


ISG Newsletter 6(1) * Spring 2003






one nest (in a very shady location on Leaf Cay) was
unhatched on 2 October, 85 days after it was com-
pleted. Hatchlings had emerged from most nests by
our arrival on 1 October, the shortest intervals since
nest construction being 84, 85, 87, 88, and 89 days.
Hatchlings had emerged from every successful nest (n
= 19) older than 89 days. These data suggest that
incubation must require about 80 to 85 days, with
emergence occurring within just a few days.
Hatchlings found in nests (n = 37) averaged
9.46 cm snout-vent length (range 8.8 to 9.9 cm), 14.1
cm tail length (range 12.7 to 15.5 cm), and 34.7 g
body mass (range 28 to 42.9 g), and did not differ
significantly in size between islands. Adults showed no
interest in these hatchlings as the latter were released
(i.e., there was no evidence of cannibalism), even when
hatchlings ran and stood in the shade of the head of
large males.
Digital temperature loggers placed among the
eggs of 13 nests (six on U Cay and seven on Leaf Cay)
immediately after nesting in June-July recorded tem-
peratures every five minutes until October. Incubation
temperatures for the 85 days following deployment of
the loggers ranged from 30.59�C to 32.720C, and
averaged 31.100C for U Cay nests and 31.720C for
Leaf Cay nests (overall mean, 31.43�C). Given the
variety of nesting soils, canopy cover, exposure to
winds, and nest depths, these temperatures are amaz-
ingly uniform.
We measured soil moisture in 23 nests on Leaf
Cay and 15 nests on U Cay. Nest soils were signifi-
cantly wetter (by a factor of two) on U Cay than Leaf
Cay. The driest nests were on the eastern (windward)
sandy ridge on Leaf Cay, and the wettest were from the
eastern and western edges of the sandy isthmus on U
Cay. Initial analysis suggests that some nests may fail
due to excess moisture late in incubation. A heavy rain
event occurring near or at the time of hatching may
occlude the soil, retarding the diffusion of oxygen into
the next cavity. The high metabolic demands of late
embryos and/or neonates (especially in large clutches)
may result in their suffocation under these conditions.
The offspring in two large clutches (each of eight eggs)
in two of the five wettest nests on U Cay all died in the
nests near (i.e., full term in the egg), at (i.e., as they
pipped their eggs), or immediately following hatching.
Our temperature loggers indicate that a major rain
event occurred on 6 September (i.e., nest temperature
dropped 20C on that day). This soil moisture differ-


ence may explain why overall nest success is lower on U
Cay than Leaf Cay (see below).
As for last year, nest survivorship was quite
high, ranging from 0% to100%. Of 107 total eggs
deposited on Leaf Cay in 2002, 91 (85.1%) hatched
and emerged successfully, compared to 109 of 134 eggs
(81.3%) in 2001. Of 71 eggs deposited on U Cay in
2002, only 37 (52.1%) were successful, compared to 49
of 68 (72.1%) in 2001. Our working hypothesis is that
because the only nesting area on U Cay is so close to
the water table, the soils there remain wet enough that a
major rain event late in incubation can fully saturate the
soils and suffocate the eggs and/or hatchlings. Al-
though we are still analyzing our data, we have so far
found no other correlates of nest survivorship (e.g., nest
date, female size or age, egg size, nest depth, nest
burrow length, or nest shadiness).
In 2002, mortality occurred by rupture by the
nesting female (2 of 178 eggs; 1.1%), because the eggs
laid were flaccid (i.e., eggs with nearly typical shell
dimensions but with much reduced contents; 6.7%)
and died immediately, during early development
(apparently from desiccation; 3.4%), during mid to late
development (again apparently from desiccation;
5.1%), were predated by insects or crabs during devel-
opment (0.6%), as full-term embryos still in the egg
(6.2%), during pipping of the egg (2.25%), as
hatchlings in the nest (2.8%), or because eggs were
completely removed from their nests (presumably by
crabs; 0.6%). Respective losses in 2001 were from
rupture (5 of 202 eggs; 2.5%), flaccid (4%), during
early development (5.0%), during mid to late develop-
ment (3.5%), due to predation (1.5%), as full-term
embryos (2.0%), at pipping (1.0%), as hatchlings in the
nest (0.5%) or by complete removal (2.0%).
We acknowledge the continued support of this
project by (particularly) Hugh and Sandra Buckner of
Nassau, the Bahamas National Trust, the Bahamas
Government (especially Eric Carey), Nigel and Lora
Bower of Powerboat Adventures, 7 Seas Charters, John
Alford, Barbara Thompson, and the Joseph Moore
Museum of Earlham College. In addition, the financial
support of Dr. Ned and Sally Test, the Cope Museum
Fund of Earlham College, and 83 different Earlham
College students (and five faculty) made this long-term
research possible.
d*W John B. Iverson
Earlham College
johni@earlham.edu


ISG Newsletter 6(1) * Spring 2003






Andros iguana (Cyclura cychlura cychlura)
and Exuma Islands iguana (C.c. figginsi)

Exumas Report (19 - 29 May 2002)
I spent 10 days in the Exumas with students
from a consortium of Chicago area colleges. This is an
annual class focusing on the natural history of the
Bahamas. Students have been helping me collect data
over the past four years for the Shedd Aquarium's long-
term monitoring program of Cyclura cychlurafigginsi
populations in the central Exumas. Captain Lou Roth,
of the R/V Coral Reefll, and I were able to visit Alliga-
tor Cay in the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park
(ECLSP) for a day. The vegetation looked completely
burned. I have never seen it look so unhealthy. Al-
most the entire understory was gone and most of the
sea grape was dead. I attribute it to Hurricane
Michelle, which brushed the area in October 2001.
The iguanas looked noticeably thinner than in previ-
ous years but were numerous. Hog bush (Rhachicallis
americana) leaves and seven-year apple (Casasia
clusiifolia) seeds were the only plants identified in 10
scat samples. None of the large adult founders were
seen but only 1.5 hours were spent on the island.
Lou Roth and I then visited Pasture Cay in the
Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park on 20 and 28 May.
The understory vegetation was noticeably denuded but
not as dramatic as Alligator Cay. We did notice
stripped bark from narrow leaf blolly (Guapira discolor)
tree branches. The stripped sections were at the
terminal ends of thin branches and unlikely caused by
iguanas but probably rats. Of the 16 original iguanas
translocated in February, six were recaptured and three
were observed (#1, 15, and 16). Two male-female pairs
(5/9 and 10/12) were observed in segregated areas of
the cay. The observed and captured iguanas appeared
healthy but four were thinner than their pre-transloca-
tion body mass (Table 1). Three males (#8, 12, and
14) had the largest and most conspicuous femoral pore
secretions that I have ever recorded (10 - 15mm).
I intend to initiate a simultaneous population
study on the rats and iguanas of Pasture Cay. I hope to
begin in 2003 but may have to start in 2004 because of
my doctorate work on Andros.
It rained for much of our brief time on Bitter
Guana and Gaulin Cays so our captures were low for
the year. We failed to catch an iguana in the few hours
of drizzle while on Bitter Guana during the morning of


21 May 2002. Ten people spent three hours on island
and we observed only one iguana. We did see at least
four goats on the island. A dead goat was found and
photographed along the back trail of the north beach.
We spent 21 and 29 May 2002 on Gaulin Cay.
A total of 23 iguanas were caught including eight
recaptures. Two of the recaptures were previously
caught in 1998 and 2000. A pair of iguanas was seen
mating on 21 May. All age classes were noticed and the
iguanas appeared healthy. Goat droppings and tracks
were again observed on the island but not goats.

Andros Report (April - June, August - October 2002)
The 2002 field season began with the Shedd
Aquarium's annual research excursion aboard the R/V
Coral Reefll. We again had participants from around
the country and managed to get much accomplished.
The focus of the trip was to identify areas with high
enough iguana densities for meaningful radio telemetry
studies. On 31 March we began the study at a new
location: Sandy Cay in South Bight. We set up base
camp on the northwest side of the cay and worked the
island for six hours, capturing eight iguanas, and
observing another three. The area is ideal for radio
telemetry studies because it has all four main vegetation
types (pine woodland, broadleaf forest, broadleaf scrub,
and mangrove/ hogbush flats) used in this study.
On 1 April we went to Guana Cay, north of
Alcorine Cay in South Bight, and captured four iguanas
before it poured rain at 1230 hrs. We went to Disserta-
tion Point, Mangrove Cay on 2 April. The north
portion of the site took heavy hurricane damage in the
interior. I was concerned by the lack of iguana sightings
(only five). We saw evidence of people visiting the
island. Trails were cut into the interior palm forest of
the middle section of the site. Also, one large iguana
was captured with what appeared to be a machete cut
on its back right leg and several clean lacerations on its
ventral side. The cuts were too clean and serious to be
from another iguana and I suspect that locals tried to

Feb 2002 May 2002
Iguana Sex BM (kg) BM (kg) Difference (kg)
5 M 7.25 7.94 0.69
8 M 7.8 7.08 -0.72
9 F 3.63 3.49 -0.14
10 F 3.59 3.63 0.04
12 M 7.24 6.37 -0.87
14 M 7.31 6.69 -0.62
Table 1. Body mass (BM) comparisons of recaptured
iguanas from Pasture Cay, ECLSP.


ISG Newsletter 6(1) * Spring 2003






catch the animal and hacked at it before it escaped
down a limestone hole. Although people are visiting
the site and animals are probably taken occasionally, I
did observe more animals as I returned to the area.
The early trip date may have played a factor in the lack
of initial sightings.
Iguanas were captured from Grassy Creek to
Middle Bight. We stopped at a small island in Grassy
Creek known locally as iguana cay (-1 ha) and cap-
tured four iguanas and saw an additional five. This cay
had a high-density of heron nests, the most I have ever
witnessed. It appeared as if there was a nest every 15
meters. All the iguanas had tail breaks and missing
digits, perhaps from attempted predation by herons.
The northern most capture site is called Cabin Dock
(Alcorine Cay) on topographic maps and is a small
area (-1 ha) completely surrounded by inundated
mangrove flats. Six iguanas were observed including
adults and juveniles; two adults were captured.
Radio transmitters were initially attached to
the animals on Sandy Cay and Alcorine Cay, across the
bight. Radio transmitters were sewn into vests and
attached across the chest with straps crisscrossing
between the front legs. Unfortunately, all the vests fell
off within a week. The transmitters were recovered
and, for lack of a better alternative, duct taped to the
base of tails. The tape lasted from four to 30 days but
a new method of attaching the transmitters to the
dorsal crest using a method similar to beading the
animals will be used next year. Some interesting data
emerged from the fragmented telemetry study and will
be used as a base for hypothesis testing in 2003. It
appears that males and females form monogamous pair
bonds during the breeding season and even share the
same retreats. Males are never far from females during
April and will follow the female throughout her range.
Occasionally a rival male will appear and is immedi-
ately chased off, only to return continually throughout
the breeding season.
Although I missed neonates emerging from the
nests this year, I managed to capture two recent
hatchlings (SVL: 9.9 and 10 cm; BM: 45 and 50 g,
respectively) in September and follow their movements
for a week. Each hatchling dispersed immediately
from the capture location and crossed tidal cuts (one
15 m across, the other 150 m across). Dispersal
distance was at least one km until I lost signals.
Hatchlings must be monitored daily in 2003 to
prevent losing the radio signal.


Seven female iguanas were observed guarding
nests. All nests were constructed in termite
(Nasutitermes rippertii) mounds. Four of the nests did
not contain eggs but all females defended and reburied
nest openings continuously for up to three months. Of
the nests that contained eggs, one had eggs that disap-
peared and the other two had 100% hatch rates. I
suspect that the eggs fell prey to land crabs (Cardisoma
sp.) because of observations I made on a nest where
eggs disappeared after I checked and recorded four eggs
two days earlier. In this instance, an egg broke during
initial excavation and yolk spilled in the entrance to the
egg chamber of the mound. Determined to discover
what could have caused the disappearance, I went back
to set a trap using a chicken egg and spilled egg yolk
spilled into the nest entrance. I covered the entrance
and waited behind a tree. A land crab emerged after 10
minutes and began digging at the mound entrance. It
took a piece of wood saturated with yolk back down its
burrow. I suspect crabs may take eggs during the night
and females rebury the entrances the next morning,
leaving no trace of the plunder.
Measurements were taken from used and non-
used mounds for comparison studies. Mound height
and circumference were recorded. Canopy cover above
the mound was measured using a spherical
densiometer. Loose substrate depth at the base of the
mound and 15 cm away was averaged to calculate skirt
depth around the mound. In active nests, entrance
orientation was determined using a handheld compass
and digital data loggers were placed with the clutch in
the mound while temperatures were recorded four
times per day.


ISG Newsletter 6(1) * Spring 2003







Data loggers were also placed above the
mounds to record ambient temperatures. Tree and
shrub species around the mound were also recorded.
Sample sizes for mound demographics and clutch size
are too small for meaningful statistical comparisons at
this time so data from 2001 through 2003 will be
combined in my final analyses. In the meantime, I
have included a table of the 2001 and 2002 data of
nests with eggs for comparisons (Table 2). The nest
used in 2001 was not used by a female iguana in 2002.
Transects for distance sampling were walked
from August to October. Transects were stratified by
four main habitat types (pine woodland, broadleaf
forest, broadleaf scrub, and mangrove/ hog bush flats)
with randomized starting points. Approximately nine
km have been walked to date with a goal of 80 km
total. Nineteen iguanas have been observed during the
transects and broadleaf scrub areas seem initially to
harbor the highest iguana densities.
Maria Morera, an anthropologist from the
University of Florida, and I conducted 18 in-depth
interviews with local people. Fifteen of the interviews
were conducted on South Andros but additional
surveys will focus on Mangrove Cay and North
Andros. The interviews were conducted in an attempt
to quantify hunting pressure, record historic and
contemporary iguana uses, and gauge perceptions
about conservation initiatives such as national parks.
Insights were gained from these initial interviews and
we suspect that hunting is not a large-scale commercial
operation but still occurs on a subsistence level. Most
people were receptive about national parks but empha-
sized the need for local input and the dangerous
consequences of hurting livelihoods by closing
areas to hunting and fishing. SVL (en
BM (kg)
Two hundred-forty visitor surveys were Clutch
distributed to eight hotels across Andros. The
surveys are meant to gauge visitor's perceptions Mean eg
of iguanas and national parks, and their willing- Mean eg
ness to pay for guided tours and park entrance
Mean eg
fees. According to initial preliminary surveys, Mound
over 90% would be willing to pay entrance fees Moundc
Mean sk
into national parks if the money goes toward Entrance
protecting species and habitat. Ten dollars was Canopy
Mean in
the most quoted amount that visitors were temperate
willing to pay for a park entrance fee.
. iMean an
In order to raise awareness of the iguana Mn
on Andros, I have given a presentation at the
South Andros high school using live iguanas as


a teaching tool. The students were extremely receptive
and many volunteered to assist me in the field. Three
high school students assist me in the field regularly.
Tiamo Resorts and I initiated a poster contest for the
students of South Andros. Any student entering a
"Protect the Andros Iguana" poster design received a
tee shirt and the winner will receive $100. Time
restraints prevented us from picking a winner this year
but it will be completed in 2003 and I hope to make
similar presentations in Mangrove Cay and North
Andros schools.
I have funding to hire two field assistants in
2003. I have identified a person at FORFAR Field
Station on North Andros that will make an excellent
candidate and am in the process of identifying a
Bahamian student that will be willing to work on the
project. I anticipate a much smoother and productive
field season next year because of the additional help
and refined research methods.
I am fortunate to have so many people and
organizations assist me and offer guidance during these
studies. I thank Eric Carey and the Department of
Agriculture, the Bahamas National Trust, C. Kenneth
Dodd, Sandra Buckner, Lou Roth, Greg Graham,
Maria Morera, Dwight "Butter" McKenzie, Ray Dean,
Bradley Long, Andy Baer, Darrin Masters, Suzy
Nelson, Sonja Tiegs, the Shedd Aquarium volunteers,
and Tiamo Resorts of South Andros.

Charles Knapp di
John G. Shedd Aquarium and University of Florida
cknapp@ufl.edu


) --- 47.7 --- 33.3
--- 4.45 -- 1.16
ize 15 7 9 4
63.3 80.3 69.4 61.3
g mass (g) (60.0 - 70.0) (75.0 - 85.0) (65.0- 70.0) (60.0- 65.0)
70.2 76.3 67.9 76.9
g length (mm) (66.1 - 73.8) (74.1 - 79.4) (65.9- 70.9) (75.9 - 78.0)
39 42.7 41.9 35.7
g width (mm) (35.6 - 41.9) (38.5 - 44.1) (40.1 - 43.1) (35.5 - 35.9)
eight (cm) 50 35 40 23
ircumference *.,, 163 175 124 118
irt depth (cm) 8 7 8 6
Orientation (0) 100 210 320 60
cover (%) 81 49 34 72
cubation 33.7 33.3 31.5
ulre (�C) (28.4 -36.4) (27.5 - 37.4) (28.6- 34.2)
28.2 30.1 31.9
ibient temp. (�C) (17.3 -38.1) (22.4 -38.1) (23.9 - 48.2)
Table 2. Female size and nesting parameters for the Andros iguana
(C. c. cychlura). The two females that eluded capture had an
estimated SVL and BM of at least 40 cm 3.0 kg, respectively.


ISG Newsletter 6(1) * Spring 2003


12-May-01
Linder Cay


9-May-02
Mangrove Cay


17-Jun-02
Mangrove Cay


18-Jun-02
Hog Cay







Cuban iguana (Cyclura nubila nubila)


Study of the use of the Cuban iguana in the
Refugio de Fauna, Cayos of San Felipe, Cuba.
Translated/edited from Spanish by Jean-Pierre
Montagne and ISG newsletter editors (San
Diego Zoo).


In spite of being one of the largest lizards of
Cuba, the Cuban iguana has been little studied.
Only six aspects of their biology have been
partially evaluated in three studies (Table 1).
Some fishing communities harvest this species for
the consumption of its meat and fat. Harvesting
has intensified on the iguana populations in the
Refugio de Fauna Cayos de San Felipe by the
fishermen of Puerto de La Coloma. This area
comprises four large cays and numerous smaller
cays of red mangrove and sandy areas where the
iguanas live. In 1999, seven years after the cays
were declared Protected Areas, the capture of
iguanas officially ceased. The objectives of this
work were to evaluate this traditional harvesting,
that until 1999, was exerted on the population of
iguanas of these cays, and to determine the
present distribution and abundance of the species.
In order to determine the distribution of
the iguana on all the cays, continuous visits were
made during 1999 and 2000. Density was
estimated using classic transect surveys. Size, sex
ratio (% of females), age ratio (% of nonadult),
and habitat preference were also evaluated. The
morphology, densities, and sex and age ratios were
similar to those of other cays where human
depredation does not occur (Tables 2 and 3).
Habitat preferences varied depending on whether
iguanas, feces, or burrows were counted (Table
4). Iguana burrows were further associated with
particular species of plants and types of substrate
(Table 5).
To study iguana consumption, interviews
were conducted in 2000 with 522 adult settlers of
Puerto de La Coloma and 30 fishermen who had
consumed iguanas. Among the adult population
of Coloma, 19.5% had consumed iguanas, but
this percentage is slightly greater for male fisher-
men over the age of 39. The average number of


Perera
(1981)


Gonzalez et al. Berovides et al.
(1991-92) 1 (1999-2001)


Morphology + +
Food / Feeding + +
Abundance + + +
Burrows - + +
Habitat selection - - +
Human impact - - +
Table 1. Ecological investigations with Cuban iguana.

| STUDY AREAS


Cavo Largo


Cavo Rosario


Cavos V. Clara


Cavos San Feline


SVL � S.D. (cm)
Males 40.5 +3.1 37.8 +2.7 30.2 +4.8 35.1+4.5
Females 32.0 1.6 31.3 4.5 25.8 4.0 34.3 4.4
N=30 N= 37 N= 21 N= 20
Iguanas/ha 4.4 - 25.0 6.5 - 12.8 3.8 -27.3 12.1 -26.1
N= 42 N= 194 N= 18 N= 15
Table 2. Body length (SVL) and density in populations of Cuban iguana.
Cayo Juan Garcia (Seasonal)
Period Surveys Density � S.D. SR AR
Nov-Jan 3 13.0+ 1.4 42.5 40.0
Feb-Apr 4 12.1 2.8 45.1 29.5
May-Jul 2 16.2 + 1.7 40.0 50.0

Three Cays (Spatial, July)
Cays Sample Density SR AR
Juan Garcia 1 13.8 37.5 42.8
2 16.1 42.8 56.2
Siju 1 13.8 37.6 46.7
2 15.4 44.4 30.7
Coco 1 26.1 40.0 53.1
__ 2 20.0 36.3 45.0
Table 3. Density ... '. sex ratio SR (% of females), and age
ratio A (% non adult) for iguanas of Cayos de San Felipe.

Iguanas Burrows Feces
Habitats % % PI % PI % PI
A 16.0 40.2 2.5+ 30.0 1.7+ 20.9 1.3+
B 18.6 32.6 1.17+ 3.4 0.1- 15.5 0.80
C 56.8 30.3 0.3- 66.6 1.20 18.6 0.3-
D 8.6 7.9 0.90 - - 45.0 5.2+
Chi2 Test X2 18.8 (P<0.001) 6.8 (P<0.01) 241.3 (P<0.001)
Table 4. Habitat preference of Cuban iguana on Cayo Juan Garcia. A=Sandy area with
Rhynchospora; B=Flooded area with Batis maritima; C=Dense scrub; D=Beach vegetation;
PI=Preference index (+ / - / 0 positive/negativel null association).

Item Random samples Burrows (%) PI
(%)__________________
Ernodea 36.2 31.0 0.8
Erythalis 1.0 2.1 2.1+
Chrysobalanus 10.0 11.4 1.1
Grass 1.3 0.7 0.5
Rhynchospora 3.3 2.3 0.7
Thrinax-Metopium 1.1 1.0 0.9
Sand without Debris 7.6 24.0 3.2+
Sand with Debris 39.4 27.3 0.7
Table 5. Plants and substrate preference near the burrows of
Cuban iguana. PI=Preference index.
Questions Answers Majority
1. Actual status of iguana populations Decline 71.4
2. Cause Hunt 90.0
Harvests (iguanas/month/ship)
Before 1990 6- 10 45.0
10 - 25 0.0
1990- 1998 6- 10 12.5
10 - 25 50.0
4. Preference by iguana meat YES 100.0
5. More preferred than chicken YES 59.1
Table 6. Interviews with fishermen of La Coloma who consumed iguanas (N= 30).


ISG Newsletter 6(1) * Spring 2003






iguanas harvested by boat per month was 6-10 before
1990. In 1990, a period of economic restrictions in
Cuba began, and the number of iguanas harvested
increased to 10-25 per boat per month, until 1999. In
spite of these high extraction rates, the iguana was not
extirpated from any cay or habitat. Given the short
period (two years) between the cesation of harvesting
(1999) and the present study (2001), the stability of
the population cannot be explained by recruitment,
considering the delayed sexual maturity of this species.
Our hypothesis is that the population maintained its
normal density levels in spite of the intense human
depredation because of its metapopulation structure
(each cay as a subpopulation). The area is divided in
two large fishing zones, each with two large cays. One
zone was fished by settlers from La Coloma, while the
other zone was fished by settlers from other towns who
did not consume iguanas. The popluation of iguanas
in the second zone provided emigrants that main-
tained the stability of the first population which had
high depredation.

4$ Vicente Berovides Alvarez
University of Havana
vbero@fbio.uh.cu




Fijian crested iguana (Brachylophus vitiensis)

The Fijian crested iguana is listed by the IUCN as
Critically Endangered (IUCN, 2002). Because
recent surveys have confirmed that only one viable
population of this species remains, international
support is required to assist in the maintenance of
the Crested Iguana Sanctuary island of Yadua Taba.
Yadua Taba was declared Fiji's first wildlife reserve
in 1980.
The International Conservation Fund for
the Fijian Crested Iguana (ICFFCI) was established
in 2000 by a Memorandum of Agreement between
the National Trust of Fiji Islands, and the two
recognized centers for the captive breeding of the
Fijian crested iguana: Kula Eco Park in Sigatoka,
Fiji, and Taronga Zoo in Sydney, Australia. The
need for this international conservation fund was
perceived and its creation accomplished primarily
by Carol Bach (Taronga Zoo) and Philip Felsted


(Kula Eco Park). The objectives of the fund are to:
> Develop, through education and public awareness
programs, a better understanding and appreciation of
the Fijian crested iguana and its habitat.
> Assist in the conservation of existing wild Fijian
crested iguana populations and their natural habitat.
> Create, manage, fund and maintain one or more
new crested iguana sanctuaries in the Republic of Fiji.

In the three years since its creation, ICFFCI has orga-
nized and funded several projects. An endangered
species education program was undertaken in Fiji that
featured the crested iguana and was delivered in critical
habitat areas. All parties to the agreement developed
programs directed at schoolchildren, and successfully
brought the crested iguana conservation message to
many people via television, radio, magazine, and
newspaper coverage within and outside Fiji. One of
the spin-offs from this was the awareness that the
program created among Fijian government officials,
who became instrumental in negotiating and funding
the lease for Yadua Taba, despite politically difficult
times. Because the proceeds of the lease for Yadua Taba
do not benefit the nearby villagers on Yadua (who are
not the traditional owners), a goodwill payment was
made to the village school, and a series of gifts was sent
to the village in recognition of the important role it
plays in supporting the sanctuary. The Yadua school
children have had an annual educational fieldtrip and
guided tour of the Yadua Taba Crested Iguana Sanctu-
ary by the ranger (November 2001 & 2002). For
many of these children it was their first visit to the


The island of Yadua Taba taken from Yadua island in 1979.
Photo by John Gibbons.


ISG Newsletter 6(1) * Spring 2003






sanctuary island and
their first view of a
crested iguana,
despite the fact that
the village is only 4
km away on the
island of Yadua.
Conservation
efforts continue to
concentrate on the
needs of the Crested
Iguana Sanctuary on
Yadua Taba. The
sanctuary ranger
Pita Biciloa, Fiji's
only wildlife ranger,
Crested iguana from Yadua Taba. ony w e
Photo by Peter Harlow. was brought to
Sydney in Novem-
ber 2000 for a two-week training program with local
National Parks and Wildlife Service staff and vegeta-
tion regeneration specialists. He was provided with
uniforms and many items of field equipment (spot-
lights, binoculars, camping equipment etc). In a joint
funding arrangement with the National Trust for Fiji,
the fund paid for half of a new 28-foot sanctuary
patrol boat and outboard motor.
Funding for all these projects came from a
variety of sources. Special recognition should go to the
major sponsors, especially Bradley Trevor Greive, John
Binns (www.cyclura.com), Yamaha Motors of Austra-
lia, RandomBase Consulting and the Australian Soci-
ety of Zoo Keepers (ASZK). Smaller individual public
donations of cash, equipment, and supplies all helped
significantly. The immense time and effort contrib-
uted by volunteers and the staff of all parties to this
agreement are priceless. Much more work needs to be
done to guarantee the future of the spectacular and
unique Fijian crested iguana, including the setting up
of new sanctuaries in the future.
Keep watching the web page {International Conserva-
tion Fund for the Fijian Crested Iguana (ICFFCI);
www.icffci.com} for information and updates.

Peter Harlow mi
Taronga Zoo
pharlow@zoo.nsw.gov.au


Utila iguana (Ctenosaura baker)

Utila is the smallest of the principal Honduran Bay
Islands (41 km2). This relatively tiny body of land,
however, supports a phenomenal reptilian diversity that
includes three native species of iguanas (Ctenosaura
baker, C. similis, and Iguana iguana); the only island
so blessed anywhere in the world. The island also
supports 12 other species of lizards, 11 snakes, a
freshwater turtle (Trachemys sp.), and a crocodilian
(Crocodylus acutus). The latter may already be extir-
pated, although locals suggest that one croc remains.
The Utila Research and Breeding Station was
established through the efforts of ISG member
Gunther Koehler in 1998 to help protect the remain-
ing populations of Ctenosaura baker (Swamper or
Utila iguana) that were threatened by hunting. The
major goals of the facility were to establish a breeding
program and create a local conservation ethic, prima-
rily through public education.
During a visit in 2001, I noted that the efforts
of the Iguana Station to promote conservation of C.
baker had not been well received by Utilians. Iguana
hunting had continued and I noticed some apparent
resentment of what was being perceived as outside
interference. During the last two years, however, an
influx of migrant workers and an onslaught of develop-
ment has had a positive effect on the receptiveness
toward conservation ideals. Utilians have realized that
the island was undergoing dramatic changes that
would inevitably result in the loss of its unique charac-
ter, which included its very own iguana.
Taking advantage of these changes, the Bay
Island Conservation Agency (BICA), the other NGO
on Utila, and the Conservation Project Utila Iguana
(CPUI; a program developed by the Iguana Station)
increased efforts to promote conservation. One of the
major goals of this effort is to establish a mangrove
sanctuary (habitat of C. baker) that incorporates an
eco-trail originating in the proximity of the Iguana
Station and leads through the mangrove swamp to
Rock Harbor on the northern shore.
In March 2003, hosted by the Iguana Station,
the International Iguana Society (IIS) held its confer-
ence on Utila. This provided me with an opportunity
to revisit the island and evaluate progress of the
Station's efforts. In stark contrast to my previous
experience, the term 'Iguana People,' used by Utilians


ISG Newsletter 6(1) * Spring 2003






to describe the researchers, had taken on an entirely
new and positive meaning. The IIS contingent was
welcomed and locals with whom they interacted were
quite interested in learning about conservation and
invariably expressed a distinct curiosity about their very
own Swampers. The director of the Iguana Station and
I were invited to broadcast a message on local TV
inviting all Utilians to attend the IIS conference. Some
residents responded, which added immeasurably to the
success of the conference.
Presentations were scheduled each evening.
Topics ranged from the natural history of C. baker to
iguanas of the West Indies and the effects of alien
species on natives. During the days, Station personnel
had organized trips, hikes, and work activities of
varying difficulty so everyone could participate. One
task involved a boat trip through a small canal in the
mangroves to the northern beaches used as nesting sites
by C. baker. Teams of IIS and Station people cleared a
substantial area of invasive vines that interfere with
nest construction from a critical nesting beach.
In less public discussions with key CPUI and
Station personnel, we were told that iguana hunting
was in steep decline, suggesting that the years of effort
were paying off. However, the benefits of that accom-
plishment might be short lived. During the last few


Personnel at the Station recently found a dead gravid C. bakerifemale
Four eggs were removed from the carcass and incubated at the Station
Two of the eggs were not viable and two hatched, with one hatchling
dying shortly thereafter. The remaining hatchling, female, survived,
and upon further examination turned out to be a C. bakeri x similis
hybrid. The healthy female was mated with a C. baker earlier this yea
is now gravid, and has been placed in an isolated nesting cage to
determine fertility. Photo by John Binns.


years all but two parcels of beachfront real estate,
including all of the prime nesting areas of C. baker,
have been sold to developers. One of the remaining
parcels is not suitable for nesting, but the other is
located exactly where the proposed eco-trail would end
at Rock Harbor. This was devastating news, particu-
larly with the quick realization that no effort could
ever remediate this loss. The topography precludes
any alternate nesting sites; so once development
begins, the currently healthy and stable populations of
C. baker will decline quickly and dramatically.
The IIS and CPUI have agreed to collaborate
in rallying efforts to secure that last parcel of
beachfront property. The cost of the property is US
$165,000. To date, the IIS has generated nearly
$5,000, and a proposal for a land grant with a maxi-
mum potential of $85,000 has been submitted to
IUCN Netherlands. Additionally, the plan seeks to
establish a small outpost manned by Iguana Station
personnel, who will aid in monitoring the property
and who also will work with developers to select
building sites that preserve as much undisturbed beach
area as possible. The success of this effort will be
based largely on the ability to instill an awareness of
conservation needs in owners and developers before
construction begins.
Despite the wonderfully rich
biodiversity of Utila, the fate of the Swamper
remains uncertain, as does that of the other
flora and fauna. However, hope that the
early conservation efforts pioneered by
Gunther Koehler, continued today with the
aid of volunteers and supported by organiza-
tions such as the IRCF and IIS, will have had
a sufficiently positive impact on the people of
Utila that they will support ongoing efforts
emanating from the Station and ultimately
S will initiate and implement their own conser-
vation programs.

&4H John Binns
International Reptile Conservation
Foundation
jbinns@cyclura.com



r:


ISG Newsletter 6(1) * Spring 2003







Recent Literature


Alberts, A.C., J.M. Lemm, A.M. Perry, L.A. Morici, and
J.A. Phillips. 2002. Temporary alteration of local social
structure in a threatened population of Cuban iguanas
(Cyclura nubila). Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
51:324-335.

Alberts, A., and R. Hudson. 2001. Iguana. Pp. 598-603.
In: C. Bell (ed.), Encyclopedia of the World's Zoos.
Fitzroy, Dearborn, Chicago.

Breuil, M. 2002. Histoire Naturelle des Amphibiens et
Reptiles Terrestres de L'Archipel Guadeloupeen.
Guadeloupe, Saint-Martin, Saint-Barthdlemy. Patrimoines
Naturels. Vol. 54, 339 pp.

Gerber, G.P., T.D. Grant, A.C. Alberts, and M.A.
Hostetter. 2002. Cyclura nubila nubila (Cuban iguana)
carrion feeding. Herpetological Review 33(2):133-134.

Gutman, A.J., and J. Binns. 2002. Grand Cayman blues:
the struggle to preserve Cyclura nubila lewisi. Reptiles
10(12):34-46

Hines, K.N., J.B. Iverson, and J.M. Valiulis. 2002.
Cyclura cychlura inornata (Allen Cays rock iguana) bird
predation. Herpetological Review 33(4):306.


Hodge, K.V.D., E.J. Censky, and R. Powell. 2003. The
Reptiles and Amphibians of Anguilla, British West Indies.
The Anguilla National Trust. 72 pp.

Knapp, C.R., and C.L. Malone. 2003. Patterns of
reproductive success and genetic variability in a translocated
iguana population. Herpetologica 59(2):195-202.

Lacy, K.E., and E.P. Martins. 2003. The effect of anthro-
pogenic habitat usage on the social behaviour of a vulner-
able species, Cyclura nubila. Animal Conservation 6:3-9.

Lazell, J. 2002. Restoring vertebrate animals in the British
Virgin Islands. Ecological Restoration 20(3):179-185.

Lemm, J. 2002. Anegada's forgotten iguana. ZooNooz:
Zoological Society of San Diego 75(3):20-21.

Malone, C.L., C.R. Knapp, J.E Taylor, and S.K. Davis.
2003. Genetic consequences of Pleistocene fragmentation:
isolation, drift, and loss of diversity in rock iguanas (Cy-
clura). Conservation Genetics 4:1-15.

Rehik, I., and P. Velensky. 2001. The biology and breeding
of the Cuban ground iguana (Cyclura nubila) in captivity.
Gazella: Zoo Praha 28:129-208.


ISG Contact Information


Allison Alberts, Co-Chair
Zoological Society of San Diego
Email: aalberts@sandiegozoo.org

Fredric Burton, Deputy Chair
National Trust for the Cayman Islands
Email: fjburton@candw.ky


Richard Hudson, Co-Chair
Fort Worth Zoo
Email: RHudson@fortworthzoo.org

Miguel Garcia, Deputy Chair
Department of Natural and Environmental
Resources, Puerto Rico
Email: miguelag@umich.edu


http://www.iucn-isg.org


IUCN
The World Conservation Union


SPECIES SURVIVAL COMMISSION


ISG Newsletter 6(1) * Spring 2003