You gave Ozone some attentionYou gave this pet attention today!
Name: OzoneBirthday: 02-09-2012
Type: Jamaican Iguana
Rarity: Limited Edition
It shouldn’t surprise you that the Jamaican Iguana is native to Jamaica, though their number is few and most live in the core of the Hellshire Hills forests, which is a dry rugged rainforest studded with limestone.
Jamaican Iguanas are long, growing to four feet and larger. Wild Iguanas, especially females, are often stained red from the dirt, but underneath lies a mingled gray-green-blue coloration, which most captive ones exhibit. A line of spines rises on their head and along their back, extending onto the tail.
Jamaican iguanas are primarily herbivores, eating fruit and different flowers and plants, while occasionally small insects are included in their diet, depending on the time of year.
There used to be a colony on Goat Head Island, but the population of Jamaican Iguanas died off in the 1940’s, caused primarily by the introduction and predation of mongoose. It was feared that they had been the last and that the species was extinct. But a Jamaican Iguana's carcass was found in 1970 on the Hellshire Hills, and then in the 1990’s a pig hunter’s dog cornered a full grown male, which was brought to Kingston’s Hope Zoo and spurred the making of Jamaican Iguana Research and Conservation Group, which with the help of thousands of volunteers surveyed the Hellshire Hills, bringing around the discovery of less than one hundred iguanas in the least disturbed areas. There were only two nests, and with a startling lack of juveniles. Fort Worth Zoo and multiple zoos in the US partnered with Hope Zoo to support JIRCG. One of the main focuses with the group was to hatch and raise young iguanas and then release them back into the wild when they were no longer small enough to be threatened by predators.
The group has since been retitled Jamaican Iguana Recovery Group is based out of Hope Zoo. Since the Jamaican Iguana was first rediscovered over 200 have been released back into the wild and the population in the center core has strengthened. They are still among the most endangered species, but with the headstart program and a mongoose trapline around the core to hold back predators, including feral pigs and dogs, progress has been made to secure a future for these iguanas.
Loose soil is required for the Jamaican Iguana to dig their nests in, and can be hard to find. In the protected core there are three communal nesting sites fitting that description, as well as some locations outside the center core. The later have no protection from predators and thus success rate is very low. Much before she’s ready to lay her eggs a female Jamaican Iguana will begin digging trial burrows. She will defend the nest for several days before and after she lays a clutch of 6-20 eggs in mid-June, which hatch about 85 days later. The mortality rate of babies and juvenile iguanas are very high because of predators.