JGR Our Online Journal - Uptodate Environmental News from the Cayman Islands and around the Globe.

Green Iguanas taking over in Grand Cayman - 29 October 2007

Global Warming - First time in History - North Pole Could be Free of Ice this Summer - 26 June 2008
Blue Iguana Breeding Programme Success 11 June 2008
Very Rare and Large Squid (24 lbs 4 oz, 7 ft long) - found off Little Cayman - 20 May 2008
World Outrage on the Cruel and Unjustified Death of Six Grand Cayman Blue Iguanas - 6 May 2008
Coral Reefs And Climate Change: Microbes Could Be The Key To Coral Death - 1 April 2008
Delicate Partnership Between Coral And Algae Threatened By Global Warming - 25 March 2008
Green Iguanas taking over in Grand Cayman - 29 October 2007
Less than 0.001% of Britain's marine environment, home to 44,000 species, is legally protected
John Gray Recyclers Distribute Educational Posters on the Grand Cayman Blue Iguanas - September 2007
JGR Remind Public to Plastic Six Pack Holder Recycle to Preserve the Cayman Islands' environment
The Secret Language of Whales - How it will help with their preservation - 7 March 2007
Iguanas get Royal attention - JGR News - February 2007
Prince Edward visits the Salina Reserve to see the Grand Cayman Blue Iguanas - 4 Feb 2007
Cayman Islands' Dept of Environment's Mangrove Project - 6 February 2007
Global Endangered Species threatened to become extinct without Action - MSN News - January 2007
El Nino and Global Warming - 2007 predicted to be warmest on record - 4 January 2007
Crocodile found in Cayman waters, Old Man Bay, North Side, Grand Cayman - 30 December 2006
Ice Cracks at North Pole - Global Warming - 21 September 2006
Shark that walks on fins is discovered in Indonesia - September 2006
Baby Manatee found in Cayman waters - 4 August 2006
Year 11 John Gray Recyclers Attend Awards Function on Disney Cruise Line - 23 June 2006
Dogs Kill Endangered Blue Iguanas, Botanical Gardens, Grand Cayman - 7 June 2006
Year 11 John Gray Recyclers Win Jiminy Cricket Challenge 2006 - 6 June 2006
John Gray Recyclers have Recycling Global Reach - "Carribean Current" - 1 June 2006
The origins of Cayman's sand - Marnie Laing, Cayman Islands' National Trust - 1 May 2006
Caribbean Coral Threatened by Warming Seas - 24 April 2006
John Gray Recyclers Agape Park Project in the News - 16 February 2006
CaymanNewNews Article on Grand Cayman's Landifll problems following Hurricane Ivan - 18 January 2006
Decline in World Population of Molluscs - 10 January 2006
JGR in the News - Students, businesses get together to help environment - 7 December 2005
UNEP - Global Warming forces Pacific Islanders to move - 6 December 2005
John Gray Recyclers Target Six-pack Holders - 2 December 2005
Cayman Islands Dept of Environmental Health join John Gray Recyclers at Reading Fair - 30 November
Wednesday 30 November marks end of record 2005 hurricane season
Coral Reefs Facing Crisis - 30 November 2005
JGR In the News - Plastic Six-Pack holder Recycling in Grand Cayman - 18 November 2005
JGR Blog - Grand Cayman Cruise berthing a top issue - 10 November 2005
JGR Blog - Land fill on Grand Cayman running short - 9 November 2005
JGR Blog - Cayman's Blue Dragons get worldwide coverage - 8 November 2005
JGR Blog - Wilma causes Cruise Numbers Concern on Grand Cayman - 20,158 due on one day - 7 Nov 05
JGR Blog - Mexico's Coral Reefs may take up to 100 years to heal after Wilma - 5 November 2005
JGR Blog - Turtle release in Grand Cayman choppy but cheerful - 3 November 2005
JGR Blog - Migrant Masked Booby blown to Grand Cayman by Wilma is successfully released - 3 Nov 2005
JGR Blog - Bleaching threatens Coral Reefs - 3 November 2005
JGR Blog - Cayman Islands' Turtles survive wild Wilma - 1 November 2005
JGR Blog - Erosion a major problem from Hurricane Wilma - Cayman Islands - 1 November 2005
JGR Blog - Iggy Supports Recycling at School Fair - 27 October 2005
JGR Blog - Blue Iguana Rescued - 26 October 2005
JGR Blog - IUCN Article on Climate Change Destruction of World's Coral Reefs - 25 October 2005
JGR Blog - Cayman Islands' Conch/Whelk Season starts 1 November and closes on 30 April 2006
JGR Blog - Turtle Tracking of Cayman Islands' Turtles - 24 October 2005
JGR Blog - School Club Fair - September 2005
JGR Blog - Important Cayman Islands' Recycling Information from C I Dept of Environmental Health
JGR Blog - 14 November 2003 - We've got the Baby Blues
JGR Blog - 25 October 2003 - Our Rap and our Float in the Pirates' Week Float Parade
JGR Blog - 19 - 23 October 2003 - the Blue Iguana Programme of the Cayman Islands' National Trust
JGR Blog 29 Sept - 3 Oct 2003 - We continue to track our Grand Cayman turtles in Central America
JGR Blog 22 - 26 Sept 2003 - Tracking our Grand Cayman Sea Turtles
JGR Blog - 18 Sept 2003 - John Gray High School Club Fair
JGR Blog - 15 - 19 Sept 2003 - Opening of Stephen Jared Youth Centre
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Link to article in the "Caymanian Compass" - Green Iguanas taking over Grand Cayman Blue Iguanas


A couple of years ago, if a green iguana crossed the road in front of your car, you might apply the brakes. It is possible people nearby might even stop and take a look at it.

If there was a camera on hand photographs might be taken.

Nowadays the Honduran green iguanas seem more common than ching chings (black bird). They are certainly more prevalent than land crabs, even in rainy season.

“It’s hard to pinpoint exactly when they started showing up,” said Fred Burton, the man behind the Blue Iguana Recovery Programme. “I recall it began in the 1980s. There were some Honduran fishermen selling some on the dock in George Town and two were kept in a chicken wire cage at the George Town Primary School. The iguanas at the school had a hatch of babies. I can clearly remember Ray (Ray’s Photo on Eastern Avenue) calling in 1991 saying there was a big green iguana in the ficus hedge outside his shop.”

The green iguanas are good swimmers and initially it was thought that the range of the Honduran iguana would be confined to the western side of Grand Cayman, which is wetter.

Mr. Burton explained that last year the green iguanas started breeding in Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park, the area used as a release site for Blue Iguana hatchlings. The Blue Iguana is native to Grand Cayman and on the brink of extinction.

“This is a problem at a couple of different levels. The park is intended to showcase native animals and plants. People will see the greens there and soon they will start to think they are native also. People will mistake blue–headed green iguana adults as blue iguanas, working against our efforts to teach people the differences and save the one that really belongs here. Other big dominant male greens may attack and harass young small blues and there may even be competition for nest sites and food, if the population of green iguanas in the park gets as dense as it is in some parts of the West Bay Peninsula.”

There are now reports that the green iguanas have made it up to the most easternmost point of the Island.

“This year they turned up in Little Cayman for the first time,” said Mr. Burton. “So far there are no reports from the wild on Cayman Brac, but they are very efficient swimmers and if they are allowed to stick on Little Cayman they will definitely make it over to the Brac. They are aggressive dispersers.”

There is no evidence that green and Blue Iguanas can inter–breed and create a hybrid species. It is considered very unlikely that this could occur. Scientific analysis has shown they are genetically quite different, so it is like a lion breeding with a tiger.

However the total population of green iguanas does not seem to have reached a peak yet; they are still expanding their range and numbers. “They are capable of very high population densities and they are definitely still increasing. East End is far from saturated,” said Mr. Burton.

The Honduran iguanas are not believed to be present in the other major Blue Iguana hatchling release site, the Salinas Reserve. However, it is anticipated they will make it there very soon.

The Department of Environment, the National Trust for the Cayman Islands and the Department of Agriculture have met at length on the issue, but so far no decision has been made on the way forward.

“The immediate problem is that until the National Conservation Law is passed it is technically illegal to do anything much about it all. Iguanas are protected, no matter what species, because when the original law was written it was assumed that iguanas referred to the Sister Isles’ Rock Iguana and the Blue Iguana. They did not anticipate there would be other kinds of iguanas here in the future.”

Some research has been done already to study the ecology of the green iguana to determine if they have any vulnerable points where control measures would work and be cost–effective.

Mr. Burton believes the country needs to become more pro–active about restricting and screening the creatures allowed to be imported as pets and ornamentals.

“If we just let it happen, Cayman will end up like every other tropical island, biologically indistinguishable, because all the animals and plants will be the same pan–tropical tramp species, and most or all the uniquely Caymanian animals and plants will be gone. Grand Cayman, Key West, Hawaii – what will the difference be if our natural environment is homogenized like that?”

Delicate Partnership Between Coral And Algae Threatened By Global Warming