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Lesser Antillean iguana

More than half of the world’s remaining Lesser Antillean iguanas are found on just one island, which is smaller in size than New York City. Photo courtesy of J. Brisbane.

One of the Zoo’s oldest conservation partners is the International Iguana Foundation (IIF), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to conserving imperiled iguanas throughout the Americas and Fiji. IIF is mounting a major fight on behalf of the critically endangered Lesser Antillean iguana, and they need our help to save this species from extinction.

As its name suggests, this reptile is found on the Lesser Antilles islands that occupy the eastern rim of the Caribbean Sea. Habitat loss, the introduction of feral predators like cats and dogs, and competition and hybridization with the nonnative green iguana have led to a sharp decline in the Lesser Antillean iguana’s conservation status. The Lesser Antillean iguana was dealt a further blow in 2017, when a large number of green iguanas—believed to be “hitchhikers” on relief shipments sent in response to the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria—arrived on the island nation of Dominica, where 50–75% of the world’s remaining Lesser Antillean iguanas remain.

With the assistance of regional and international experts, IIF has supported the development of wildlife monitoring and management programs on Dominica that engage locals in the battle against the Lesser Antillean iguana’s extinction.

IIF is hoping to raise $50,000 for this initiative by the end of the year with the first $25,000 donations being matched dollar for dollar. Click here to make a contribution and help ensure the Lesser Antillean iguana remains on our planet for generations to come.