Iguanas have been on Curaçao since the dinosaurs lived on the island. These remaining large reptiles still dominate the remote island in the Caribbean. Photo Credit: Swiss/Canadian Underwater Photographer via Getty Images

Animals Caribbean3. July 2024

Conservation Win: Twelve Rare Species Move Away from Extinction

For more than three decades, conservationists have worked tirelessly to protect nature and animals endemic to the Caribbean islands, bringing back some 12 rare species from the brink of extinction.

Removing certain invasive species – non-native raccoons and rats, among others – has been instrumental in protecting the species under the law.

Among the 12 species brought back from the brink of extinction is the harmless and slow Antiguan racer – once known as the world’s rarest snake – which now has a population of 1,000 living on four islands, compared with 50 in 1995. Thirty years ago, the white cay rock iguana had fewer than 150 individuals living on a small island in the Bahamas, but today, that population exceeds 2,000. Once with a population of less than 100 on Sombrero Island off the coast of Anguilla, the Sombrero ground lizard’s number has more than tripled since 2021. Now that the island of Saint Lucia is free from predators, the Saint Lucia whiptail lizard’s population of 1,000 can multiply.


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