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Jamaica: J’can Iguana In Fight For Its Life

The Jamaican Iguana (Cyclura collei) is in need of your help. In fact, it is in a desperate fight for its life.

For the Jamaican Iguana, the Hellshire Hills are a critical site for survival and for Jamaica’s biodiversity. Although the area is in the Portland Bight Protected Area, its habitat of native deciduous and dry limestone forests are being lost as result of the activities of small farmers, animal rearers, wood cutters (for carving, furniture, or fence post), and flower harvesters.

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The Hope Zoo Kingston is reaching out to these residents to help them to understand the unintended negative consequences of their various income-generating activities and is seeking to partner with them in order to save Jamaica’s largest native land animal, which is critically endangered. Thought to be extinct between 1948 and 1990 and once found throughout Jamaica and on the offshore islets Great Goat Island and Little Goat Island, it is now confined to the forests of the Hellshire Hills.

“We want the community to become a part of the Jamaican Iguana conservation programme as a matter of necessity,” said Project Consultant for the Hope Zoo Iguana Headstart Project, Orlando Robinson. “Community participation and partnership are key to the success of any conservation effort.”

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