In the latest issue of the Department of Environment’s Flicker newsletter, Research Officer Jane Haakonsson’s update on the fight against green iguanas on the Brac sheds light on the growing problem the island faces from this invasive species.
On Little Cayman, the Green Iguana be Gonna program has responded to all known sightings of greens, with more than 90 percent of reports leading to their capture and disposal. For now, there is no similar program on the Brac.
In an effort to involve the Brac community, a meeting was held introducing residents to the potential problem these reptiles pose. Attendees were taught effective search and catch techniques, humane culling methods, proper disposal procedures, and known sighting locations.
This was followed by a cull from April 8-13 by the department’s Terrestrial Resources Unit, with participation from the local community, during which 10 greens were caught, the females carrying a total of 36 eggs.
“We are particularly concerned with the negative impacts green iguanas have on our native ecosystems and their biodiversity,” writes Ms. Haakonsson, citing the need to enforce biosecurity on all three islands using response measures.
“Thus establishing a continuous and sustainable control operation on both of the Sister Isles is an essential part of the overall strategy to prevent this highly invasive species from getting a stronghold on Little Cayman and Cayman Brac as we have seen it on Grand Cayman.”
A presentation on biosecurity and eradication methods was also held at the Brac port for eight port staff, since a continuous stream of green iguanas are arriving via container traffic from Grand Cayman.