Roatán Spiny-tailed Iguana
Ctenosaura oedirhina
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
Conservation Measures

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 bakeri in 1987 and was given the species name “oedirhina”because of its rounded snout. 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. There is also a possibility that they are hybridizing with an introduced iguana species, Ctenosaura similis. The Roatán Spiny-tailed Iguana is omnivorous and can use all habitats occurring on the island (including urban areas). However, the 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.

Research funded by the IIF has focused on collecting the much needed basic natural and life history information about this relatively new species. This data is important in determining baseline population information (average size, diet, habitat usage, total population, etc.) that can be used to monitor the species as well as influence policy and management.
Reports from the Field
IIF Grants Received