The vet team from the Fort Worth Zoo joined researchers Dr. Byron Wilson, and Tandora Grant from San Diego Zoo in healthscreening and releasing the headstarted iguanas that have been living at Hope Zoo, Kingston Jamaica.
To date we weighed, measured, and evaluated the health of 226 Jamaican iguanas!!
Two were "missing" (possibly hiding in a hole) and not screened. This release, the first 6 were released on 16 March with Byron's conservation biology student trip and Armed Rasberry. Another 13 were released on 30/31 March by Byron's crew.
That makes a TOTAL of 174 released so far !!
This year we saw improved growth compared to last year. We also had the chance to further discuss the idea of moving all the headstart cages to the perimeter edge of the zoo. This area would be off-exhibit to the public. We have several ideas to further reduce the density that iguanas are housed and the potential to also expand the number that can be headstarted/released per year.
To test whether collei will show improved growth rates in their first year if housed in individual cages, Orlando and Quarrie are going to set up 5 iguanas from the 2011 hatch year in separate cages and their growth will be compared to a control set, in the same weight range, that will remain in the group Snake House cages.
The healthscreening and release team:
Left to right: Kim Westbrook, Dr. Byron Wilson, Nancy Lung, Armed Rasberry, Tandora Grant, and Orlando Robinson.