ANIMAL:Jamaican Iguana Cyclura collei
Type of Animal:
Forests, limestone outcrops, hilly areas
Once found throughout Jamaica as well as offshore islands Great Goat Island & Little Goat Island. Now confined to Hellshire Hills in St Catherine Parish.
Large green to salty blue lizard w/ darker olive-green shoulder area, 3 dark broad chevrons extend from neck base to tail w/ dark olive-brown zigzag spots, brighter bluish-green dorsal crest scales, blotchy yellow areas on sides, many individuals reddish-brown especially in front of body, males larger than females w/ more noticeable cresting/jowling/dewlap
Leaves, flowers, fruit, snails, insects
Status in Wild:
Breeding in zoos & breeding centers. Reintroduction into native range. Consortium of 12 US institutions donated/constructed headstarting facility at Hope Zoo in Kingston used for rearing of eggs/hatchlings brought from wild, in which they’re reared until big enough to be released back into wild. Jamaican Iguana Recovery Program helping reintroduce animals into wild & find suitable sites in former range to reintroduce them.
Solitary, though females occasionally nest near each other, defending nests from each other.
Male: 12-15 lbs
Female: 7-9 lbs
3 monthsLife Span:
Male: 3-3.5 ft
Female: 2.5 ft
Young: 1.5 ft
Male: 1.86 ft
Female: 1.43 ft
Main predators of adults are cats, dogs, & hawks (latter only natural predator). Mongooses, pigs, & boas (latter only natural predator) prey on young.
Critically endangered due to introduced predators, habitat loss, deforestation, restricted range, nest destruction by goats/pigs, pet trade, agriculture, hunting for meat, killing out of fear, charcoal production/burning, livestock grazing, development, tourism, & limestone mining.
Sexually mature at 3-4 years old.
Active during the day (diurnal).
These iguanas equally at home on land & in trees.
Females lay 6-20 eggs per clutch, usually in June.
Also called Jamaican Rock Iguana.
These animals fight fiercely over territory, especially males.
Claws come in handy for digging/defense.
These lizards have wide range of temperaments from friendly to highly defensive.
Head-bob to defend territory.
Due to role in seed dispersal, they’re considered Jamaica’s 1st farmers.
Jamaica’s largest native land animal.
These lizards considered extinct from 1948-1990, when man named Edwin Duffus was hunting pigs in Hellshire Hills area. His dog retrieved lizard & was shown to staff at Hope Zoo in Kingston (lizard was still alive but subsequently died of injuries). Subsequent surveys discovered 2 nesting sites but number of young very small. Most individuals were adults. Since then, populations have increased from well below 100, now numbering around 200 animals.