Today’s Editorial Aug.12: Don’t let Sisters expire

Some tough-hide friends are in need of our help in Little Cayman.

The Sister Isles Rock Iguanas on that small piece of the Cayman Islands are in danger of losing members of their population.

If that horrid process begins there is then the danger of becoming extinct, and once something is extinct, it’s lost to the world forever.

That would be such a shame.

There is a bright ray of sunshine in the gloomy news of extinction; iguana expert Fred Burton has found 32 nests in the Preston Bay area of the sister island.

But help is needed to build a preserve and it looks like the immediate help is going to have to come from the Crown and Government.

The Crown owns some of the land. Mr. Burton and members of the National Trust would like to see the Crown make a commitment to turn that land over to the Trust so the iguanas’ habitat can be preserved.

So would we.

Part of the nesting area is privately owned. It would be a great service if Government could find money in the environmental protection coffers to buy the land and turn it over to the trust.

At first blush it would appear the Sister Islands Rock Iguanas are faring quite nicely in Little Cayman. Mr. Burton estimates there are up to 2,000 there.

But if something isn’t done now, it is possible and probable that development will take place on the island and rid the iguanas of their habitat.

We learned the lesson the hard way in Grand Cayman where our own Blue Iguana is a critically endangered species.

There were only about 25 of the animals left in the wild a year ago. A National Trust programme at the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park is helping the situation of the Blue’s, but the recovery process is long and tedious.

The habitat at the Botanic Park is one where iguanas can breed without fear of attack by feral animals or even humans.

We shouldn’t let the situation in Little Cayman devolve to what happened on Grand Cayman.

Action must be taken now to ensure the Sister Islands Rock Iguanas remain safe for future generations.

Remembering and maintaining our heritage is so important. The Sister Island Rock Iguanas are a very important part of that heritage.

Once the Crown and Government do their part, the rest will be up to us.

Become a member of the National Trust and support iguana habitat programmes as a volunteer or with your cash.

Action must be taken now.