2010 News from the Field
For the first time in Jamaica, biologists have started using camera traps to monitor iguana populations. These images were captured after Rick van Veen set up a camera trap in a rocky crevice where iguana sign had been noted. Sure enough, an iguana was caught on film, and surprisingly it was one of those released earlier – note the pink bead tag on the dorsal crest.
The IIF is currently raising funds to help purchase at least 20 more camera traps that will help expand this effort to document iguanas in hard to reach areas. It also provides a certain measure of stealth. Because when biologists tromp through the bush, no matter how quietly, they make noise, thus scaring the wary iguanas into hiding and retreats. However the cameras are quiet and don’t disturb the iguana’s normal activity patterns. And in the long run, it is much more economical to deploy cameras rather than people. And more efficient: imagine 25 camera traps recording information at 25 sites, as opposed to two field biologists trying to cover all these areas daily, even for a few minutes. This technology increases exponentially the amount of information that can be collected, and shows tremendous promise for expanding our knowledge of these shy and elusive creatures.
We look forward to bringing you new and exciting images in the future. A single camera trap costs only $250 USD and can provide a wealth of new information on the presence and activities of Jamaican Iguanas. If you want to help the IIF purchase camera traps, please consider a contribution – you can earmark your donation by adding special instructions within PayPal.