Cyclura pinguis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Iguanidae

Scientific Name: Cyclura pinguis
Species Authority: Barbour, 1917
Common Name(s):
English Anegada Rock Iguana, Anegada Ground Iguana, Anegada Island Iguana
French Cyclure de l'Ile Anegada, Iguane terrestre de l'Ile Anegada

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered A1abcde, B1+2abce, C1+2b ver 2.3
Year Published: 1996
Date Assessed: 1996-08-01
Needs updating
Assessor(s): Mitchell, N.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:The common name of the Anegada Island Iguana is misleading, as the animal was once distributed over the entire Puerto Rico Bank. Fossils are known from Saint Thomas and Puerto Rico. Vulnerability to predation by humans and their dogs and cats may have resulted in a contraction of its distribution to Anegada.
Countries occurrence:
Virgin Islands, British
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Population density in 1968 was estimated at 2.03/ha (Carey 1975). In 1991, this figure had dropped to 0.36/ha in comparable habitat. Extrapolation of density estimates, distribution, and relative habitat quality yields a population estimate for Anegada of 164 individuals. A small restored population also exists on Guana Island with eight founding adults (Goodyear and Lazell 1994), from which three juveniles have been translocated to Necker Island. The total population, including individuals on Anegada, Guana, and Necker probably consists of fewer than 200 individuals.
30-50 left at last count on Anegada. Small population on another inhabited Cay put there some years ago. Recent visits to Anegada reveal a continuing populations decline.
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Estimates in the late 1960s (Carey 1975) showed small home ranges for both sexes (less than 0.1 ha), one principal burrow per animal, a 1:1 sex ratio, and habits that indicated monogamy (apparent pairs inhabited separate but proximate burrows in a joint home range isolated from other pairs). The current population structure is quite different. While previous studies may not have been sensitive to long range movements, it now appears that home ranges are quite large on Anegada: males average 6.6 ha and females average 4.2 ha. Home ranges broadly overlap and have one or two centers of activity. In 1991 the sex ratio had dropped to 1 female:2 males. Thus male competition for limited females may be responsible for the high degree of home range overlap.

Burrows of both sexes may be located on the old limestone reef-tract or in sandy areas adjacent to it. If available, iguanas will use additional holes or crevices as emergency retreats. Whereas degraded vegetation may provide for male subsistence, it may not provide females with sufficient energy to allow them both to produce eggs and compete with other animals for forage to support their own growth and metabolism. Reproducing females may have low survivorship, resulting in the present skewed sex ratio. Females usually lay one clutch of about 12-16 eggs per year in late spring or early summer.

Although largely facultative herbivores, all age-groups of these iguanas are opportunistic carnivores. Invertebrates (beetles, caterpillars, centipedes, roaches) form less than 1% of the natural diet, although this may be a result of limited availability. The bulk of the diet consists of leaves and fruits.

Over the past 20 years, grazing pressure by goats, sheep, burros, and cattle has radically changed the vegetation composition of Anegada. The iguanas' diet is now composed of plant species the feral animals reject.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Areas on Anegada that once contained dense populations of iguanas now support few or none. Research indicates that this is due to three major causes, including competitive grazing pressure from free-ranging livestock, predation by feral dogs, and predation of juveniles by feral cats. Competition with livestock for food is the principal reason, although predation, habitat loss and a multiple year drought are also having a negative impact.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: A major grant has been received from the Environment, Science and Energy Department of the UK Foreign Commonwealth Office to facilitate conservation activities on Anegada. Goals of this program are to 1) implement a cat eradication/control feasibility study, 2) expand the current headstart facility, 3) train the Senior Terrestrial Warden in iguana husbandry and facility maintenance, 4) conduct population censusing and mapping at sites nesting sites and other potential sites where adults may be found, and 5) develop environmental education materials to raise public awareness of the importance and vulnerability of iguanas on Anegada.

In the 1980s, eight iguanas were moved from Anegada to Guana Island, British Virgin Islands, to start a second population in part of the species’ former range (Goodyear and Lazell 1994). This is not a limestone island, and does not provide as many natural retreats as Anegada. In the absence of introduced predators, however, the iguanas appear to do well and reproduce in areas that are free of sheep (the only feral grazing competitor present). Currently, approximately 20 adult iguanas are estimated to inhabit Guana. Offspring have been seen each year since 1987, but recruitment is very low over much of the island. Guana Island Wildlife Sanctuary continues to try to rid the island of sheep, which may improve the habitat for iguanas.

This species is listed on CITES Appendix I.

Classifications [top]

12. Marine Intertidal -> 12.1. Marine Intertidal - Rocky Shoreline
3. Shrubland -> 3.5. Shrubland - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
1. Forest -> 1.5. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Dry

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
  Included in international legislation:Yes
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:Yes
2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.3. Livestock farming & ranching -> 2.3.4. Scale Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.3. Indirect species effects -> 2.3.2. Competition

8. Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases -> 8.1. Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases -> 8.1.2. Named species [ Canis familiaris ]
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

8. Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases -> 8.1. Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases -> 8.1.2. Named species [ Felis catus ]
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.3. Indirect species effects -> 2.3.7. Reduced reproductive success

Bibliography [top]

Alberts, A. (compiler and editor). 2000. West Indian Iguanas: Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan. IUCN/SSC West Indian Iguana Specialist Group. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

Baillie, J. and Groombridge, B. (eds). 1996. 1996 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals. pp. 378. International Union for Conservation of Nature, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

Carey, W.M. 1975. The rock iguana, Cyclura pinguis, on Anegada, British Virgin Islands, with notes on Cyclura ricordi and Cyclura cornuta on Hispianola. Bulletin of the Florida State Museum of Biological Sciences 19: 189-234.

Goodyear, N.C. and Lazell, J.D. 1994. Status of a relocated population of Iguana pinguis on Guana Island, British Virgin Islands. Restoration Ecology 2: 43-50.

Groombridge, B. (ed.). 1994. 1994 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

IUCN. 1990. IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre. 1986. 1986 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre. 1988. IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

Citation: Mitchell, N. 1996. Cyclura pinguis. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 1996: e.T6031A12343361. . Downloaded on 24 May 2017.
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