Fac­tors af­fect­ing their habi­tats

World of Animals - - All About Iguanas -

Land de­vel­op­ment

As ex­cel­lent swim­mers, igua­nas favour ter­res­trial and ar­bo­real habi­tats that are near wa­ter, as it pro­vides a valu­able es­cape route when un­der threat, as well as be­ing a re­li­able re­source for hy­dra­tion and tem­per­a­ture reg­u­la­tion. Feed­ing on veg­e­ta­tion, they’re de­pen­dent on en­vi­ron­ments rich in plant species, mak­ing fu­ture land de­vel­op­ment a se­ri­ous threat to their re­sources.

In­va­sion

Pop­u­la­tions of in­va­sive green igua­nas are thriv­ing in sub­ur­ban ar­eas across Amer­ica, with Florida be­ing one of the worst-hit places. Their vast num­bers have placed enor­mous pres­sure on the re­sources for lo­cal wildlife, dom­i­nat­ing ex­panses of veg­e­ta­tion, caus­ing pol­li­na­tors and smaller lizard species to suf­fer. Free from pre­da­tion, their pop­u­la­tions are only dented by cold spells of weather.

Tourists

In the Galá­pa­gos, one of the main nest­ing sites for marine igua­nas is Puerto Vil­lamil on Is­abela Is­land, which is also a very pop­u­lar tourist beach. His­tor­i­cally, only the cen­tre of the nest­ing zone was pro­tected. In an at­tempt to halt the iguana’s de­cline, this has since been ex­tended to in­clude the en­tire nest­ing site. Ed­u­cat­ing lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties and vis­it­ing tourists as to the im­por­tance of such zones is also a pri­or­ity.

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