Turks and Caicos, April 11, 2017 – Providenciales –A “Saving the Iguanas of Turks and Caicos” project has been launched to protect the native species of the island. The three-year Darwin Plus Project, whose main objective is to further the conservation of the rock iguanas and other native reptiles to secure a future for these unique and highly threatened species, had its grand launch this past Friday at the Opus Conference Centre.
The organizers of the project have established partnerships with six organizations to achieve their goals. They are: Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), UK; Turks & Caicos National Trust; Department of Environment and Coastal Resources; Department of Agriculture; San Diego Zoo Global, USA and Big Ambergris Cay Facilities Ltd.
The organizations will work together initially to design bio-security for Little Water Cay and Big Ambergris Cay. The second phase of the project will focus on implementing necessary actions resulting from the findings, following the bio-security surveillance activities in phase one.
Steps taken will also ensure rats, feral cats and other potential harmful species do not become established and threaten the iguanas and native reptiles. The Darwin Plus Project will last for 3 years and costs £370,000 or $460,000 USD. It is said that £200k will come from Darwin and £170k match funding is provided by RSPB and San Diego Zoo Global.
Story by: Sheri-Kae McLeod