- Rhinoceros Iguanas are an Endangered species endemic to the island of Hispaniola. They found in both the Dominican Republic and Haiti where they are found in approximately 8 sub-populations.
- They inhabit rocky limestone environments including tropical dry forest, lowland shrub areas and coastal forest, they are diurnal spending the night in rock crevices and other natural shelter.
- Rhinoceros are threatened by illegal poaching for food and medicinal use. Non-native species such as feral cats, dogs, mongoose and pigs pose a predation risk, while herbivores such as cows and goats are competitors for food sources. Habitat is often destroyed due to charcoal production, as well as development for tourism, land conversion for agriculture, and bauxite mining.
- In the Dominican Republic trade in international wildlife has been controlled by CITES however this is not the case in Haiti. Within the Dominican Republic Iguanas are traded as pets and to tourist exhibits, known as iguanarios.
- A local non-governmental organization, Grupo Jaragua, manages conservation efforts for Rhinoceros iguanas in the Dominican Republic. These include habitat monitoring and restoration, outreach and education, and land acquisition. Recommended conservation measures are better law enforcement and the development of an island-wide conservation management plan.
IIF Grants Received
Understanding Interspecific Interactions between Cyclura ricordii and Cyclura cornuta south of Lago Enriquillo in the Dominican Republic
Husbandry and Education Capacity Building to Support Cyclura Conservation in the Dominican Republic
Rosanna Carreras De Leon and Stesha Pasachnik