Allen Cays Rock Iguana
Cyclura cychlura inornata
IUCN Status: Endangered
Range: Exuma Island group, The Bahamas
Population: ~1500
Size: Generally up to 11 pounds and 18” in length from snout to vent, with a longer tail
Threats: Supplemental feeding from tourists; hurricane impacts; poaching; non-native mammals
Conservation Measures

The Allen Cays Rock Iguana was believed extinct in the early 1900s due to hunting by local fisherman. The populations on the two cays where they occur naturally totaled only about 300 iguanas in early 1980s, but has rebounded to over 1,000 by 2016. To decrease the risk of species loss, two translocated populations were established on islands owned by The Bahamas and are now flourishing. The cays with naturally occurring populations are visited intensively by tourists for the purpose of feeding the iguanas; one island receives 150 or more people each day. The long-term physiological and behavioral impacts of this supplemental feeding are unclear, but worrisome and under investigation funded in part by the IIF. This intensity of visitation also brings the danger of the accidental introduction of feral mammals, such as rodents, dogs, or cats, which could be catastrophic for these small island populations. These iguanas have been under continuous study since 1980 by IIF Board Member Dr. John Iverson.

Reports from the Field

IIF Grants Received