Scientific Name: Cyclura carinata carinata
IUCN Red List Status: Critically Endangered
Description: This is a small iguana reaching a maximum recorded total body length of 2.5 feet including tail. Color may be gray, brown, or dull green and varies by island. Some island populations may have vermiculated patterns on the head and neck, pale blue or reddish-brown color on dorsal crest scales or tails.
Distribution: Turks and Caicos Islands in the Bahama Archipelago
Habitat: Most abundant in rocky, limestone coppice and sandy strand vegetation habitats.
Native to the Turks and Caicos Islands (southeast of the Bahamas), this is the smallest species of rock iguana with body lengths averaging from 7 - 8 inches (not including tail length). Because of their small size and the fact that they have no native mammalian predators, they have been severely impacted by the introduction of cats and dogs. Populations are estimated to have formerly numbered in the millions but currently this iguana occupies less than 5% of its historical range. Over the past 25 years, at least 15 distinct populations of the Turks and Caicos iguana have been extirpated including those on all the large islands. Others populations are on the brink of extinction as a result of the continued spread of exotic mammals, particularly cats. Healthy populations are now restricted to very small islands without human settlements or introduced mammals. Current conservation measures focus on predator removal, educating local inhabitants about the threat posed by cats and dogs, and translocation to islands where mammals are absent. Though the wild population is estimated at 50,000, the rapid rate of decline of this species is a major concern.
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