Grand Cayman Rock Iguana

Cyclura lewisi

Rare Blue Gem

Once abundant, these iguanas have been headed for extinction since the colonization of the West Indies. Their future now rests on managed populations in protected areas and continued education efforts.

About the Species

These iguanas may also be known by the name blue iguana. They turn a bright turquoise blue during the breeding season.

Grand Cayman rock iguanas are endangered mostly due to human activity. Introduced invasive species, such as rats, cats, dogs, and pigs, prey upon the iguanas. Additionally, habitat destruction and the occasional road kill are responsible for their decline in numbers. The Central Florida Zoo participates in a Species Survival Plan, or SSP, for this species. This is a coordinated effort between several AZA accredited Zoos across the U.S. and the government of the Cayman Islands. Between captive breeding and protection of suitable wild habitat, there is a chance we can keep this species from going extinct.

Words From the Experts

Quotes

One of the longest living species of lizard in the world, the Grand Cayman rock iguana can live up to 69 years.

Heather

Did You Know?

There are three main groups of iguanas: rock, tree-dwelling, and marine. These iguanas prefer life on the dry ground.

Facts

Origin

Restricted to protected areas on Grand Cayman Island

Habitat

Coastal uplands

Size

4-5 feet in length, 15-20 pounds

Diet

Plant material, occasionally supplemented with insects

Predators

Invasive species, such as rats, feral cats, and feral dogs, are a main threat, especially to young iguanas or eggs

Natural Defenses

The tail can be used as a whip

Reproduction

Females lay 1 to 22 eggs. The female will fiercely defend her clutch, including chasing away larger males.

Status

Endangered

Life Expectancy

Average 20-45 years

  • Saving Animals From Extinction
  • Culture Builds Florida
  • Florida Association of Zoos and Aquariums
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