Ctenosaura oedirhina

Spiny-tailed Iguana


IUCN Status: Endangered
Range: Islas de la Bahía, Honduras
Population: ~4,500
Size: Snout to vent length up to 12.75 inches, with males generally longer and heavier than females
Threats: Illegal hunting; predation from domestic cats and dogs; habitat fragmentation; hybridization with Ctenosaura similis
  • Roatán Spiny-tailed Iguanas (Ctenosaura oedirhina) are found only on the island of Roatán, the largest of the Honduran Bay Islands. This iguana was only recently recognized as a separate species from Ctenosaura bakeriin 1987 and was given the species name “oedirhina”because of its rounded snout.
  • The Roatán Spiny-tailed Iguana is omnivorous and can use all habitats occurring on the island (including urban areas).
  • This species is threatened mainly by illegal hunting for consumption by humans and predation by domestic cats and dogs, but habitat loss and fragmentation also contribute to their endangered status. Hunting pressure is so intense that they are only found in high densities in small, privately-protected areas across the island. The vast majority of the estimated 4,500 iguana live in less than 1% of the island’s area.
  • These important locations are protected by a grass-roots movement of local land owners and managers. Additionally, less than 1% of the iguanas live outside of these protected areas and densities are extremely low, which may be only 1–5 iguanas per 0.4 square miles, if they occur at all.