September 30, 2020

Baby Iguanas boom in San Diego Zoo

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Over the past week there has been a baby boom for the highly endangered species of the blue iguana in the San Diego Zoo,

Two breeding females and their mates remain in the zoo in case the population in Cayman takes a downward turn despite the precautions taken by the Government to protect them.

Director of the Blue Iguana Programme, Frederic Burton said, “It’s a back up population that started years ago in the early stages.

“We’ve released 600 iguanas into the wild recently.”

Since 2007, the zoo has been part of an international effort to save the blue iguana. Despite intricate efforts at providing the right environment, results have been self-effacing producing around three or four hatchlings a year.

By 2002, the population had dropped to a few dozen and the Blue Iguana Recovery Programme here teamed up with American zoos in a rescue effort.

The San Diego Zoo was a natural choice after its achievement in studying and captive-breeding the rock iguanas that live on the shorelines of the U.S. Navy base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The blue iguana is not yet out of danger because cats and dogs continue to eat its eggs and hurricanes are often a threat, but there are hopeful signs.

FACT FILE

  • They can grow to a length of 20 – 35 inches including tail
  • They eat fruits, flowers, mushrooms, leaves etc
  • Can survive for decades with highest life span recorded at 69 years
  • They prefer to stay in rock holes and tree tops
  • Females lay between 1 – 24 eggs in the months of June or July

 

 

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