Education & Awareness
Ever since the National Trust began working to protect the Blue Iguana, informing and involving the local population has been a central part of the effort.
In past years the Trust’s education staff have involved school children in activities ranging from petting a tame Blue Iguana, through Iguana sand sculptures and radio tracking games, to visits to the captive breeding facility.
At the adult level, local television, radio and newsprint media are always keen to publicize progress in the Blue Iguana program – indeed one of our original iguanas, the late Bernard, became something of a media star! As Blue Iguanas take to the wild in the QE II Botanic Park, new opportunities have arisen there to educate and involve the community.
In recent years the message has become muddled by the naturalization of a large population of non-native Common or “Green” Iguanas, Iguana iguana. There is an increasing need to teach the public about the differences between these two species, lest the frequent reports of Common Iguanas in urban areas mislead people into thinking the Cayman’s own iguanas are thriving.
2003 was the year when the Cayman Islands celebrates the 500th anniversary of human influence in these islands. It was an apt time to reflect on the prospects the Blue Iguana has, to survive as a wild animal for the next 500 years, having barely made it through the last. Fittingly 2003 was also the year “Blue Dragon”, a joint program of the National Gallery and the National Trust and funded by the Dart Foundation, was launched. Giant Blue Iguana sculptures adorned by creative work by local artists, now reside permanently in public places all over Grand Cayman.
Current work, funded by a grants from the Disney Wildlife Conservation Fund and Deutsche Offshore (Cayman), includes developing a series of schools curriculum modules, highlighting the Blue Iguana to illustrate the concepts of endangerment, extinction, and conservation management. A professional quality documentary film “Too Blue to Lose”, generously produced on a voluntary basis by Wild Wings Vision in Cologne, Germany, is also well on the road to completion, thanks again to financial support from Deutsche Offshore (Cayman).