Endangered rock iguana killed

Another endangered Sister Islands rock iguana has been found dead on a road in Cayman Brac. 

Bonnie Scott Edwards recovered the iguana’s body after getting a call on Tuesday night that the animal was lying dead on the Bluff West Road. 

The large male iguana, called C2 or Charlie, was among the animals tagged and counted in a census of the reptiles carried out in 2010 and 2011. 

“Visible injuries are a broken neck and broken right foreleg,” Ms Scott Edwards said. “This is an iguana that is well known because of his habit of approaching cars for food. If people would stop feeding wild life, some of these tragedies could be avoided – although iguanas are also drawn to the road for warmth, as well as food.” 

He is the first rock iguana to be found dead on the Brac roads this year. Last year, four rock iguanas were killed on the roads of the island. 

Ms Scott Edwards said she had long been concerned that Charlie would fall victim to a passing vehicle and had contacted local authorities calling for traffic signs and enforcement on the stretch of road where the iguana was regularly spotted. 

Nearby land on the Bluff has been cleared, depleting iguanas of their natural habitat, so more of the animals are being spotted on the grass verges and on the roads. 

“I have e-mail after e-mail from tourists, environmentalists and Brackers asking why something isn’t done to protect these animals,” Ms Scott Edwards said. 

A three-year species management plan for the Sister Islands rock iguanas calls for the installation of speed bumps or chicanes on road kill hot spots in 2013. That species management plan was drawn up following a workshop in 2011 that involved the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service, the Department of Environment, local residents, the National Trust for the Cayman Islands, the Department of Tourism, the Blue Iguana Recovery Programme, International Reptile Conservation Foundation and the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust. 

The Sister Islands rock iguana is listed as critically endangered in the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List. 

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2 COMMENTS

  1. I have e-mail after e-mail from tourists, environmentalists and Brackers asking why something isn’t done to protect these animals, Ms Scott Edwards said.
    Well Ms Scott Edwards This is so sad and our Politrictions as I call them turn a blind eye and not pass the National Conservation Law which will only make matters worst if not passed ASAP! Until we the people come together and Unite this will always be a problem!

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  2. Drivers in the Cayman Islands have zero respect for the dogs, cats, chickens, iguanas and humans that share the road with them. If you park up and spend 10 minutes watching how people drive it beggars belief. People in the SUVs yapping on phones, kids in cars driving at break neck speed – to go where?! You live on an island. The bus drivers have no clue on how to use a road and endanger the lives of those in their vehicles or getting out of them at illegal spots, i.e. double yellow lines or right in the middle of the road. Where are the RCIPS when they should be stopping drivers after happy hour on Friday nights when most of the kids (and adults I hasten to add) are WELL over the limit? There’s so much wrong on the roads it is miraculous that more people haven’t died and that we actually have any of these endangered species left. The drivers of Cayman USED to stop for the iguanas, made sure chickens could cross the road and now days the attitude is ‘drive over them’. Shame on Cayman!

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