Picture / Te-Hsin Tsai
Article / Nicole La Force
I am Iyanola, the St. Lucia iguana. The Arawak Indians once called St. Lucia Iyanola, the land of many iguanas. However, this saying is no longer true. Because of habitat loss, sand mining, hunting for meat and my babies being eaten by dogs, feral cats, mongoose and manicou, I am now endangered.
I can now only be found in the dry forest of the north east coast. I am referring to areas like Louvette and Grande Anse. A few years ago, a survey was done and approximately 1000 of us are left in the wild. Imagine the whole world with only 1000 people! Well that’s my situation since I can’t be found anywhere else in the world but right here in St. Lucia. That makes me unique, one of a kind!
Fun facts about me, Iyanola!
○I am vegetarian; I like to eat leaves and soft fruits.
○I can grow up to 6ft / 1.82m.
○I can live as long as 20 years in a healthy environment. Yeah!!
○We females can reproduce when we’re 3 years old and lay about 20 eggs.
I hope that you have enjoyed learning about me. Please protect me by encouraging others not to destroy my home or hunt me.
If you would like more information about Iyanola and how you can help, please contact the Forestry Department at 468-5645 / 468-5648. Thank you!