Land purchases and land enhancement protect critical iguana habitat.
Iguanas are often found in highly degraded areas where significant restoration is needed to ensure vital plant species and habitat characteristics are available to support sustainable iguana populations. Support is also needed for maintaining and patrolling nature reserves where iguanas live. In more extreme cases, it is necessary to purchase land privately in order to guarantee that suitable habitat is available and protection is enforced.
In recent years, IIF has supported habitat restoration activities in Guatemala, Honduras, Fiji, and Jamaica. In the Dominican Republic, IIF provided funding to the nonprofit Grupo Jaragua to purchase two parcels of land totaling nearly 70 acres, both of which were deemed important nesting grounds for the Endangered Ricord’s Rock Iguana and the Endangered Rhinoceros Rock Iguana. Had this land not been privately purchased, the habitat would have been converted for agriculture or cattle grazing and lost to the iguanas and other important native species. Both parcels required significant restoration to bring back several plants that provide a seasonal food source for iguanas.