IUCN Status: Critically Endangered
Population: 200 – 300
Size: Up to 54 cm and 6 kg (21 in and 13 lbs)
Threats: Introduced mammal predators, habitat destruction, and illegal forest use.
- Thought extinct for nearly half a century, the Jamaican Iguana was rediscovered in the remote Hellshire Hills in 1990 and became the subject of an intensive effort to recover the species. Employing a combination of nest protection, predator control and headstart/release
- The Jamaican Iguana survives only in the Hellshire Hills, a rugged limestone area with suitable dry forest habitat. Although suitable vegetation still exists, extensive surveying has not located iguanas far from the central core protected zone
- They are threatened by invasive predators, such as mongooses, cats, stray dogs, Mongooses are very common throughout the Hellshire Hills and observations show they prey on juveniles and eggs
- The Hellshire Hills is currently part of the Portland Bight Protected Area (PBPA). Declared in 1999, the PBPA is Jamaica’s largest protected area and includes both of the Goat Islands.
- Through the headstart facility at the Hope Zoo Kingston to date over 468 Jamaican Iguanas have been released into the wild!
- The Jamaican Iguana Recovery Program is widely recognized as one of the world’s most remarkable conservation success stories