The male Antillean iguana in the Nature Conservation Centre has pink cheeks… That means he is in mating mode. You can also see him ‘nodding his head’ a lot to impress the lady.
The species is highly endangered. A few years ago, the IUCN, the world’s largest conservation organisation, drew up an action plan to save this species from extinction. The causes of its extinction are manifold, including habitat degradation, traffic casualties and threats from dogs, cats and goats.
But the most important cause at the moment is the displacement and hybridisation with the common green iguana. This is not native to St. Eustatius but has been seen in recent years. Besides protection on the islands against all these dangers, it is of great importance that a reserve population is established and that is where Rotterdam Zoo comes in.
Zookeeper Ton took this picture.