The Trinidad Express reports that iguanas nesting in the Sand Hill area are at risk from human predators, even though the hunting season has officially closed.
Though the legal hunting season is now closed, hunting continues unabated. Daily fires are already claiming valuable forests as both young and old trees fall to the earth, adding to the already charred remains of what were healthy tropical evergreens. This widespread loss of habitat has forced our wildlife to flee deeper into the mountains. This has now introduced their pursuers to new sanctuaries that were hitherto undisturbed.
Sand Hill, widely known as a virtual iguana haven, is still being relentlessly hunted out though numbers of iguanas have dramatically plummeted. During our weekly visits to the area, we have encountered men coming up the hill at intervals, with blades in their hands, to check for fresh iguana tracks leading to nests. One bold fellow even came up with an absurd explanation that he was there to cut a fire trace. Needless to say, when he thought that we had exited the area, he proceeded to dig up the very nest that an iguana had earlier dug and entered. Of course he claimed his prize.
The hunting season in Trinidad and Tobago runs from the first of October to the last day of February.
[Photo: Taran Rampersad]