Blue Iguana Recovery Program

How many Blue Iguanas are there in the wild?

Apr 16th, 2013 | By | Category: Programme News, Uncategorized

It’s the question we are asked most often.

“How many Blue Iguanas are in the wild now?”

It’s one of the measuring sticks which we use to measure progress to our long term goal. To quote our own strategic plan,

We envision a population of at least one thousand Grand Cayman Blue Iguanas, living freely within one or more protected areas, reproducing naturally and continuing to evolve in step with their ever changing natural environment.”

How do we answer?

Released Blue Iguana in the wild

Released Blue Iguana in the wild

We add the number the number of iguanas we have released in the Salina Reserve, to the number we have released to the Colliers Wilderness Reserve, plus the number we see as we monitor the free roaming iguanas in the QE II Botanic Park. From that total, we subtract the ones we know have died.

The final step is an assumption – it is almost certain that more iguanas have died than we actually know about. It is also certain that there are new iguanas out there we haven’t counted, that are offspring of the iguanas we have released.  So we assume that the new iguanas make up for the un-witnessed deaths, more or less, to yield a net change of zero.

As of April 2013, that calculation yields about 750 iguanas. That’s three quarters of the way to our numeric goal. And with this year’s planned release, we will soon bring them well over the 800 mark.

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