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Conservation

ENDANGERED SPECIES PROGRAMS

RHINOCEROS IGUANA

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Rhinoceros Iguana
Rhinoceros Iguana
Rhinoceros Iguana

This is another species of iguana with a limited distribution. Confined to the islands of the Dominican Republic and Haiti, this species is one of several rock Iguanids whose wild populations are in serious trouble.

Although this species has bred well in captivity, there are many conflicts between potential breeding individuals that prevent the pairing of certain animals for breeding programs. Australia Zoo has developed a technique to overcome this problem, whereby animals previously unable to be housed together are slowly introduced. The male is able to see and smell the female for varying periods of time prior to the mating season, and gradually begins to accept her. This method has resulted in a successful breeding that produced offspring.

This technique will prove vital when dealing with even more endangered species of rock iguana. In situations where animals are initially aggressive to potential mates, this process of gradually introducing pairs will allow vital contribution from genetically important animals within breed and release programs.

Once habitat is secured for this species, Australia Zoo’s techniques and breeding success may be essential in restocking dwindling populations in the wild.


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