Blue iguanas begin working on the next generation

| 01/05/2024 | 8 Comments
Lady Pop

(CNS): The blue iguana nesting season has begun, the experts at the Blue Iguana Conservation (BIC) facility at the Botanic Park said in a press release a week before International Blue Iguana Day. Lady Pop, a 33-year-old blue Iguana, has begun excavations for her nest and, along with her younger partner, 17-year-old Iggy Stardust, have produced large clutches of eggs in the past, laying 22 last year.

The iguanas out in the wild have also been mating, and females have been crossing the Queen’s Highway and East End Road to find sandy nesting locations near the sea.

In another sign that mating has been underway, Forrest, a well-known and much-loved male who lives in the Salina Reserve, was recently injured in the competitive territorial disputes that are part of the iguana mating season. However, he has been treated for his injuries and nursed back to health.

Although the species was brought back from the brink of extinction by the National Trust’s BIC programme under the leadership of Fred Burton, the blue iguana remains critically endangered. Drivers are being asked to keep a close eye out for the iconic creatures and additional warning signs have been placed to remind motorists in the area.

To maintain the health of the species as it fights for survival, the iguanas in the Botanic Park are carefully paired according to their genetics under the instruction of long-time geneticist Tandora Del Grant. Due in part to the programme’s success, nest digging is creating its own set of issues within the park as the Children’s Area has become a favourite nesting spot for some of the free-roaming females.

The iguanas’ natural need to protect the nest can lead to confrontations, but BIC staff are working to help them find more suitable nest locations.

The conservation facility is currently fully occupied, and releases will soon take place to make room for the new hatchlings. This will include two-year-old participants in the Head Start programme, in which iguanas are raised to a size that gives them the best chance of survival against native and introduced predators. It will also include some of the larger and older animals who have done their stint in the breeding programme, keeping the genetic dynamics maintained.

To celebrate International Blue Iguana Day, there will be a Family Fun Day at the park’s facility on Sunday, 5 May, from 10:00am to 4:00pm, where there will be an opportunity to feed the blue iguanas and learn more about them and the facility. Kids can also enjoy being an ‘iguana scientist’ for the day. The event will also include special guest speaker Ian Redmond, OBE, a wildlife biologist and conservationist who is renowned for his work with apes and elephants.

Tickets can be purchased on the day of the event at the Visitor Centre at the Botanic Park.
Adults $10, children $5.

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Category: Land Habitat, Science & Nature

Comments (8)

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  1. Anonymous says:


  2. Anonymous says:

    Love their names!

  3. Anonymous says:

    First of all, lady pop should be ashamed of herself mating with iggy who is half her age. Second of all, why is it just road users being warned? Why is it developers not denied approval? The developers are the ones that are destroying the iguanas habitats. Let me guess healthy donations Botanic Park? What’s the point of the program when by 2036, we will have more roads than people?

    This Cayman for you.

  4. Ray Wolcott says:

    Great news. Now it is time to do the same for the Sister Island Rock Iguanas. The feral cats must be eliminated and drivers fined for killing them. What is wrong with Cayman? They let feral cats destroy an endangered species!

    • Seafarer says:

      Agree with you 100%

    • Anonymous says:

      And the feral kids

    • Anonymous says:

      Sadly people seem to think more of the feral cats – neutering them is not the answer as they are still alive and preying on rock iguanas and the birds over there. 100% agree the cats need to be PTS and no more cats allowed on Little Cayman or Cayman Brac.

    • I can read! says:

      Fines don’t work as impossible to catch the offender in the act.

      Any ideas for safe driving habits on our littlest island?


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