British Virgin Islands: NP Trust forges ahead with efforts to protect endangered iguana

Road Town, Tortola – Director of the BVI National Parks Trust (NPT), Joseph Smith-Abbott has said that efforts continue by the Trust to ensure the long term survival of the endangered Anegada Rock Iguana (Cyclura Pinguis).

Mr. Smith-Abbott pointed to this as one of the challenges ahead, when he addressed the weekly general breakfast meeting of the Rotary Club Sunrise of Road Town at Maria’s By The Sea Hotel on Tuesday April 20th, 2010.

The NPT Director noted that the BVI has one of eleven endemic Caribbean iguanas. He said at one point, these iguanas were very widespread and a source of food, but based on a number of factors, including loss of habitat, the iguana population has diminished to the extent where they are now limited in their range.

”The BVI now has a few hundred species left in the wild,” he said. The Anegada Rock Iguana is said to be genetically different and unique because it is older and predates a number of other iguanas founding for example in neighbouring St. Thomas, USVI.

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