Ctenosaura oaxacana

Spiny-tailed Iguana


IUCN Status: Critically Endangered
Range: Oaxaca, México
Population: Unknown, estimated less than 2,500
Size: Average length from snout to vent is 4.75″; average weight 2.2 oz.
Threats: Habitat conversion for cattle grazing
  • Little is known about this small species of iguana found only in Southern Oaxaca, México.
  • The species was first described in 2001 and was previously described as Ctenosaura quinquecarinata (a related species found in Costa Rica and Nicaragua).
  • They are primarily found in dry forest habitat however this habitat is often converted to grazing land. They seek refuge in natural hollows of trees and cacti where their spiky tail can be used as a firm wedge to protect against predators.
  • IIF has awarded grants which researched the ecology of the species and enhanced community awareness about the species. Through this research it was found that the iguanas live at higher densities then many other iguana species.
  • Key in this project is conservation training for regional students and community awareness.