Iconic blues get their own international day

| 18/05/2021 | 0 Comments
Blue iguana

(CNS): The endangered blue iguanas now have their own annual international day, even though they exist in the wild only in the Cayman Islands. The bid to put this iconic reptile on the world stage follows international efforts over the years that have contributed toward bringing this species back from the brink of extinction. The 8th May is now the official world day for the blues and the first one, International Blue Iguana Day 2021, was celebrated at their home at the Queen Elizabeth II Bontanic Park. Operations Manager Luke Harding, who spearheaded the initiative, said the project reach is truly global.

“The remarkable efforts of our partner institutions, past and present staff and volunteers have all been key in the success we have seen up to this point,” he said. “Making it an international day was to recognise and celebrate that the efforts have not solely been on-island, and it is also a chance for Grand Cayman to show off to the world the natural treasure that is the blue iguana.”

During the celebrations to mark the day a plaque was unveiled to honour Fred Burton, the founder of Blue Iguana Recovery Programme (BIRP), now known as Blue Iguana Conservation (BIC).

“I was happy to see the blue iguanas getting their day in the sun in more ways than one, and turned up to show my support,” said Burton, who is now the terrestrial resources director at the Department of Environment. “The last thing I expected was to be given such a fine tribute for my part that started so many years ago. That was very kind. Nowadays I am glad to continue to help in whatever way I can, and I deeply appreciate the dedication of the BIC team who are leading the way forward from recovery to long term conservation success.”

Olson Anderson, the chairman of the National Trust for the Cayman Islands, which runs the Blue Iguana Conservation programme, thanked the team for all their hard work over the past year.

“Luke and his team have done a tremendous job transforming the BIC facility in the last few months. They have done so much, with so little. This day highlights how important the blue iguana is to our environment and the job Luke’s team is doing to sustain them for generations to come,” he said. “Hopefully, this will be the first day of many that we can gather here at the BIC facility to celebrate the blue iguana.”

Meanwhile, the Rotaract Club, which did the clean-up is continuing to support the conservation project and are currently fundraising to help with much needed funds.

Follow Blue Iguana Conservation on Facebook and Instagram @blueiguanaconservation.

Anyone interested in supporting the work through a donation or as a volunteer can email Luke Harding at bic@nationaltrust.org.ky

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Category: Science & Nature, Species Conservation

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