Blue Iguana Recovery Program

Blue Dragon project to boost Iguana’s future

Aug 16th, 2005 | By | Category: Blues in the Local Press

Cayman Net News Online

The contribution from local companies and individuals who made donations in order to have their favourite ‘blues’ on their premises for public display, has added a further $2,000 to the Blue Iguana Recovery Programme.

”Much of what forms the basis of the National Gallery’s artistic programmes and events is a pervading principle that it is the environment and all that encompasses, that directs our own operations.’ said Nancy Barnard, Director of the National Gallery

‘It is to be commended that the Dart Foundation funds so many locally vital organisations, such as they did with the Blue Dragon programme, and that they are clearly both environmentally and culturally, sensitive developers.’

Carla Reid, Chairperson of the National Trust said the importance of the Blue Iguana Recovery Programme (BIRP) cannot be overstated. ‘The blue iguana was on the brink of extinction and is still the most endangered iguana in the world. Its survival depends on the success of the BIRP,’ she added.

‘With the changing landscape of this Island, it is now more important than ever that we hang on to one of the few things that we can truly call our own. We would like to encourage the corporate society to continue to take an active role in supporting this programme.’

Dr. Fred Burton, of the BIRP noted: “The Blue Iguana Recovery Program is in an interesting position, with some remarkable successes and a delicate balancing act between exciting conservation possibilities and the funding to implement them. The Blue Dragon project has really helped to connect people with our Island’s own Blue Iguana; I’m truly delighted by its popularity and success!

‘Now this modest but useful funding surplus also connects the Blue Dragon project to the real, on-the-ground conservation action that is vital to saving our living, wild Blues from extinction.’

John Papesh, VP Dart Management said the Dart Foundation is pleased to be in partnership with the National Trust and National Gallery for the creation of the Blue Dragon Project to support the Cayman Islands Blue Iguana Recovery Program.

‘Besides providing financial assistance, it is our intent the Blue Dragon Project educates residents and tourists on the native Blue Iguana to help save it from extinction,’ added Mr Papesh.

‘We commend both the National Trust and National Gallery for conceiving a creative and inspirational project that brings about meaningful community awareness on the plight of this important endangered species.’

The Blue Dragon project started in early 2004 with the construction of twenty 8 foot by 3 foot) fibre glass ‘blues’, that were then painted by local artists and positioned around the Island in public spaces along with a plaque that will give information about the ‘blue’. Two of these ‘blues’ were Hamish by architect John Doak, who is now at home at the Dart Family Park in South Sound, and painter and sculptor Al Ebanks’ ‘People in the Wild’ on his ‘blue’ which is now at Scholars Park (West Bay).

The Department of Tourism in conjunction with the National Gallery, is currently producing a full-colour brochure ‘blues’ trail for both visitors and locals to enjoy visiting the locales of each of the 20 ‘blues’ while exploring Grand Cayman. For more information please call the National Gallery at 945-8111 or the National Trust at 949-0121.

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