Great news: the Cayman Blue Iguana is no longer classed as a critically endangered species:
The Grand Cayman Blue Iguana (Cyclura lewisi) has taken a formal step back from extinction this year. The announcement comes with the latest update to The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™, which was released in India this week by The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
In 2002, there were only about 10 to 25 Grand Cayman Blue Iguanas in the wild and as a result it was listed as Critically Endangered on The IUCN Red List. Today, due to the conservation efforts of the Blue Iguana Recovery Programme, the wild population of the Grand Cayman Blue Iguana has risen to an estimated 750 individuals and has been downlisted to Endangered.
“In IUCN Red List terms, Endangered is the best we can ever hope for as far as the Grand Cayman Blue Iguana is concerned,” says Fred Burton, member of the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC) Iguana Specialist Group and Programme Director of the Blue Iguana Recovery Programme. “Human impacts on Grand Cayman are now so extensive that there just isn’t scope for these iguanas to regain numbers in the tens of thousands. However, we are confident that we will achieve our long term goal of restoring at least 1,000 Grand Cayman Blue Iguanas to the wild.”
Read more in this IUCN news release.
Previously on Green Antilles: A conservation success story: the Grand Cayman Blue Iguana and Video: Saving the Grand Cayman Blue Iguana.
[Photo: Mike Miley.]