Iguana delicatissima on St Eustatius, Dutch Caribbean
The Iguana delicatissima is currently only found on St. Eustatius a small island of 21 square kilometres. They’re under threat from hybridisation, human consumption and habitat loss.
The two national parks on the island almost house no iguanas and the vulnerable delicatissima is found in unprotected areas, research is ongoing to get a complete picture of their total range.
Currently animals from a very young age are raised in the safety of research stations, to be released when they reach the ages of 1.5 to 2 years. This will seriously increase their chances of survival in the wild.
Hybridisation is a serious problem for the delicatissima and the hybrid offspring is fertile and can therefore produce other hybrids. The biggest problems with the hybrids is their ability to mate with both species and the males are much more dominant. In the end this could result in the loss of both species of iguana.
Most hybrids are being caught as well as the non-native green iguana (Iguana iguana), these efforts cost a lot of time, money and equipment.