Nine ‘blues’ released as conservation battle continues

| 04/09/2017 | 10 Comments

Cayman News Service(CNS): Researchers with the Blue Iguana Recovery Programme recently released nine more young blue ignanas into the wild at the Colliers Reserve in East End. But officials are warning that despite the overwhelming success of the project, which that has seen the iconic indigenous iguana brought back from the brink of extinction, the battle is not yet over. Dogs, disease, invasive green iguanas and development still threaten the survival of these endangered iguanas.

Writing in the most recent edition of Flicker, the DoE Terrestrial Resources Unit’s magazine, editor and research officer  Jane Haakonsson, said that “the magnitude of these threats continue to rise”.

During the latest release, nine 2-year-old blues were released into Colliers to start their new life in the wild after being given the head-start at the specialist breeding unit at the Botanic Park in Frank Sound. Haakonsson said that in order to give the young iguanas the best chance, they are released from wooden retreats just before dusk so they can imprint on the location overnight and have a point of reference and a safe base from which to explore their new home the next day.

“At this point it is fair to say that the species will always be needing some form of management to ensure a sustained population,” she added.

Anyone wishing to help can donate their time and volunteer with BIRP or they can make donations through the National Trust. Keeping informed on the plight of this endearing reptile and raising awareness is free and always needed. And to learn more about the Blue Iguanas, pick up a copy of The Little Blue Book, by Fred Burton, or take a Blue Iguana Tour at the Bontanic Park.

See the full article in the latest edition (#32) of Flicker.

Email for a copy of Flicker #32

Access old issues of Flicker on the DoE website

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Category: Land Habitat, Science & Nature

Comments (10)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Releasing “blue” iguanas and killing “green” ones at the same dang time.

    When will the confusing chaos stop being delivered to liberated people? Ask yourselves, hope you all aren’t waiting for “young people” to save you.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Releasing indigenous blue iguanas into the wild will only expose them to being cross-bred by the invasive green iguana and ultimately decimate the protected blues. Some time ago scientists claimed that cross-breeding of the species was not possible but their theory was debunked when iguanas which are offspring of crossbreeding between invasive green and native Little Cayman rock iguanas were found.

    So, while I applaud all efforts to breed the blues in captivity and all the work of Dr. Fred Burton and others, it seems that those efforts will be defeated by releasing the blues into the wild only to have them cross breeding with greens.

  3. Unison says:


    I recall “they” had a cage of over 200 Green Iguanas. I understand this was just after Ivan, and some government official released them in the bush of West Bay … about tourist attraction and sh%t! Before we never had so many until that time. These lizards eventually spread from West Bay to the entire island!

    Now … we are still playing with nature! On top of the greens that are killing our vegetation and threatening our parrot and bird population, you have the nerve to release blue iguanas ??? ?


    • Anonymous says:

      Oh brother… Unison is off his meds again.

    • BELONGER says:

      If the indigenous Rock Iguanas in the Sister Islands didn’t bother the people or the environment over there, why would the indigenous blues be a problem in Grand Cayman ?

      You see, the Cayman Islands for the most part had the “right balance” when most things were natural (except the mosquitoes) and everyone was genuine.

      You change any of the two and then the problems arose.

    • Anonymous says:

      Please tell me this is sarcasm and not ignorance lol

    • Anonymous says:


    • Anonymous says:

      Clearly a well-researched and scientifically sound response. Keep up the good work!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Only to be wiped out by climate change in the near future.


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