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#207 Lesser Antillean Iguana

Critically Endangered

Their scientific name is Iguana delicatissima. While Delicatissima is Latin for delicate, I keep reading it as delicatessen. That started after searching for pictures of them and seeing a ton of photos of people showing all the iguanas they had killed for meat. I don't know if it was this kind, but possibly. Often when searching for reference photos, I see pictures that make me very sad. Unfortunately, though they are protected, enforcement of hunting restrictions are not really enforced. That is one thing that their low numbers is good for, because they aren't hunted as much as other more easily found bushmeat is. Along with the hunting by humans, they are killed by cats, dogs, getting trapped in fences, and being hit by cars. They are also at risk because of illegal pet trade, habitat loss, and the invasive Green Iguana. The Green Iguana hybridizes with them and also displaces them. It is believed to produce a lot more offspring than the Lesser Antillean can as well. Though these are throughout much of the Lesser Antilles, they have been extirpated from some of the areas they used to inhabit. There is a captive breeding program (actually a couple), but since 1997 as far as I can tell there have only been about 20 successful hatchings.

I think iguanas have more of a self satisfied smug sort of personality than a lot of lizards seem to. Something about their faces just makes me think, without ever having been able to interact with one, that they are pretty intelligent and sure they can handle any challenge they face. They look like they might have a bit of a sense of humour as well, and like to get into mischief. I'm hoping I've made this little guy look a bit like he's contemplating getting up to no good, but in a way that isn't malicious at all. I don't know, sort of like Snoop Dogg when he's doing some crafting or cooking show with Martha Stewart. Ok, that's it, now I can't help it, I'm going to name this iguana (not the species, just this one specific one) Snoop Dogg.

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