IUCN Status: Critically Endangered
Range: Turks and Caicos Islands, Booby Cay in The Bahamas
Size: Males, snout to vent length up to 14.1 inches, 4.1 pounds. Females, snout to vent 11.4 inches, 2.5 pounds.
Threats: Feral and free roaming dogs and cats, feral livestock.
The Turks and Caicos Rock Iguana is small in size among the Cyclura and conservation of the adult population is critical. The iguana is under threat from a variety of sources, including predation by invasive mammals, habitat change from alien invasive plants, habitat destruction from land development, and the threat of hurricane storm surges. The most insidious threat are cats, dogs, and rats on a number of small cays, as well as large-scale land development.
The IIF, working with others, has been instrumental in supporting the iguana’s conservation. We have funded extensive conservation field studies and provided major support for translocation projects that have moved iguanas to islands free of invasive predators. Surveys are needed to confirm any significant impacts on iguana populations after the hurricanes in 2017. Rebuilding on Ambergris Cay is likely the most immediate threat, affecting the largest remaining subpopulation.
The iguana is a protected species in both the Turks and Caicos and The Bahamas, with both governments having designated some areas as protected. However, cats and dogs are still present in these areas. They are also internationally protected by CITES, the International Convention on Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. Regardless, iguanas are still vulnerable to poaching for human consumption and illegal collection for the international pet trade.
The greatest conservation needs are ongoing efforts to control invasive predators, post-hurricane population assessments, renewed efforts at education and awareness, and continued partnerships with developers to minimize and mitigate habitat destruction.