The endangered Lesser Antillean iguana used to inhabit many islands in the Eastern Caribbean but has been toppled from one country after another by overhunting and invasive alien species. The greatest threat today comes from common green iguanas, which first arrived as exotic pets and are now spreading rapidly across the region, transported by people and hurricanes. Bigger and faster breeding, the common green iguana takes over the habitats of native iguanas and interbreeds to form fertile hybrids.
FFI is working with the Anguilla National Trust and other partners on the frontline of this invasion. Following an abortive attempt to remove the invasive green iguanas from mainland Anguilla, the few surviving Lesser Antillean iguanas are now being relocated and reintroduced to offshore islands that can be more effectively guarded against invaders. The project team is now collaborating with neighbouring French and Dutch territories to help ensure the survival of their iguana populations, as well as expanding to conserve other threatened reptiles, such as the endangered Anguilla Bank racer and Anguilla Bank skink.