IUCN Status: Endangered
Range: Andros Island, The Bahamas
Population: Approximately 3,800
Size: Males, up to 4.5 feet, head to tail, 19.8 pounds. Females, 22.5 inches, snout to vent length, 3.7 feet, head to tail.
Threats: Feral Pigs, feral/free roaming dogs, hunting, and habitat loss
The Andros Rock Iguana is a large dark colored species that may be decorated with yellow, orange, or reddish scales, especially among mature males. This iguana is restricted to three large islands in The Bahamas (South Andros, Mangrove Cay, and North Andros) along with dozens of associated smaller cays, which comprise the country’s largest landmass. The Andros Rock Iguana is the largest native terrestrial species remaining in The Bahamas and is unique among the world’s iguanas in using termite mounds as nesting sites to lay their eggs.
Like all Cyclura species, the Andros Rock Iguana is fully protected by CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. The population numbers fewer than 5,000 individuals, and is declining. The Bahamas has designated significant iguana habitat as a protected area, although this has not stopped the species’ decline. They are endangered by feral predators (cats and dogs), hogs (which dig up iguana nests), habitat disturbance and destruction, and sporadic illegal hunting by people.
After six years of scientific assessment of the species, its habitat, and threats faced, an action plan was developed with conservation recommendations. The plan has not been fully implemented and the IIF will be exploring opportunities to provide funding to support its recommendations.
Their greatest conservation needs include the development and implementation of an education and awareness program at national and local levels, improvements in the management and protection afforded by the Westside National Park, establishment of a sustainable funding source for protection, management and education, and potentially preliminary actions to ensure that illegal collection for the pet trade does not become a serious future threat.