Monitoring of iguanas
The Nature Reserve leads a monitoring of Lesser Antillean iguana (Iguana delicatissima).
As its name suggests this iguana is a local specie, from the Lesser Antilles and cannot be found anywhere else. In serious danger of extinction, Saint-Barthélemy is one of the last islands to have such a population. In the West Indies, the population of Iguana delicatissima decreased by 70% in just three generations.
It is a protected species, registered in the IUCN Red List (International Union for Conservation of Nature). His disappearance is due to habitat destruction (deforestation) and nesting sites, predation by domestic animals, traffic... As well as competition with another iguana invasive: common iguana, Iguana iguana. Imported from American continent as a pet and then released into the wild, it is dangerous for the local species. It breeds with females, giving birth to hybrids.
Since 2007, 4 common iguanas are observed each year. In 2000, a study of the population of Lesser Antillean iguanas by Mr. Breuil showed that they were concentrated in the heights of Saint-Jean, in Anse des Cayes, in Corossol and on Fourchue.
On one hand, The Nature Reserve of Saint-Bartholomew leads a scientific monitoring of iguanas several times a year, with the participation of Dr. Michel Breuil (specialist in reptiles of the French West indies, attached to the national Museum of natural History). For weeks iguanas are studied (weight, size, etc.) in different parts of the island, to better understand the iguanas: their habitats, life expectancy...
On the other hand, Nature Reserve’s guards regularly patrol to take invasive and hybrid iguanas. They also support injured animals and collect eggs when nests are in danger. Once hatched, the young iguanas are released into their natural habitat.
Get involved! If you see injured or invasive iguanas, call the Nature Reserve at 0690 31 70 73. Learn more about it here.