A little over a week old, critically endangered Grand Cayman blue iguanas No. 7 and No. 9 check each other out at the Anne and Kenneth Griffin Reptile Conservation Center, operated by the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research. The number of iguana hatchlings this year – nine - more than doubles any previous year’s breeding.
In past years, the researchers have seen only three or four hatchlings in a season. This is the fourth and fifth successful clutch of the Grand Cayman blue iguana at the San Diego Zoo since 2007 – 17 blue iguana hatchlings in all.
The San Diego Zoo is one of 13 conservation organizations outside of Grand Cayman with blue iguanas, one of the most endangered of all lizards. There are now 17 iguanas at the Reptile Conservation Center, which is not open to the public. The Zoo’s blue iguana breeding program is done in conjunction with the Blue Iguana Recovery Program and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.