Caribbean Iguana Conservation Workshop

Caribbean Iguana Conservation Workshop

Date 3 – 5 December 2013
Location San Juan, Puerto Rico

On 3 – 5 December 2013, the Caribbean Iguana Conservation Workshop was organised in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Focus was on ‘Exploring a Region Wide Approach to Recovery’.

Organisers:

  • Island Conservation
  • San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research
  • Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources
  • The Nature Conservancy
  • United States Fish and Wildlife Service

Rationale:

The endemic iguanas of the Caribbean are the most endangered group of lizards in the world, with one species extinct and five of the remaining 11 listed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Indeed, several species exist as single populations with no more than a few hundred individuals and little measurable natural recruitment due to invasive mammalian predators. Other significant threats include habitat destruction and loss from charcoal production and land development, collection for the pet trade, hunting, vehicular mortality, and competition and introgression with introduced iguana species. Much has been done to conserve Caribbean iguanas over the last two decades and recovery plans have been published for most species. Population supplementation, reintroduction, habitat protection, invasive species control, education, outreach, and capacity building are predominant themes in these publications and recovery programs for individual species are often similar. However, there has been no organised regional effort to share experiences and needs or consolidate efforts among recovery programs for Caribbean iguanas. To this end we are organising a workshop to bring a variety of public and private stakeholders together from throughout the Caribbean to exchange ideas and experiences, identify common needs, and explore opportunities for increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of iguana conservation programs on a regional level and promote iguanas as flagship species for conservation of Caribbean dry-forest ecosystems.

Goals at the workshop:

  • Review the status and threats of Caribbean iguanas
  • Examine the accomplishments and challenges of conservation efforts to date
  • Encourage participation from a wide spectrum of stakeholders in the recovery process
  • Strive to establish a regional framework for advancing Caribbean iguana conservation

Iguana Workshop