Reptile Sex! (or the Blue Iguana Habitat tour)

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013, Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Gardens, Grand Cayman

– Only 750 of them in the world and we saw them doing it –
An attraction in Grand Cayman is the Botanic Gardens. Tony and I, being bigger fans of reptiles than flowers, opted for the tour of the Blue Iguana Habitat within the gardens.
The blue iguana recovery program is a rare success in captive breeding programs. In 2002, there were estimated to be only about 12 of the endemic blue iguanas on the island. The captive breeding program started with these individuals and the population is now estimated to be around 750. Eggs are incubated with an over 99% success rate and the young are not released into the wild until they are big enough to survive their common predators.

We happened to visit the habitat at the height of mating season and got to see a little action. The warden leading our tour enthusiastically told how fortunate we were to see this.

Portrait of a blue iguana.

Portrait of a blue iguana: note the bead neck piercing for identification

An attractive female.

An attractive female.

The male spotted the female, rushed up to (literally) right under my feet, stared at her intently for a while (completely ignoring us), and then rushed off to try his luck.

A coupling of blue iguanas.

The male tries his luck.

A lot of marker beads get lost during mating season.

A lot of marker beads get lost during mating season.

We also enjoyed a stroll around the botanic gardens after seeing the Blue Iguana Habitat.

The traditional Caymanian garden is a sand garden. The sandy yard provides children with a place to play and adults with a place to socialize. Keeping vegetation to a minimum reduces the mosquito numbers. Decorative and edible plants are grown in pots. The path to the door is typically lined with conch shells and paved with seashells. The distinctive crunch of the seashells means no need for a doorbell.

The heritage garden.

The heritage garden.

 

Little bird on ginger plant.

Little bird on ginger plant.

enjoying the nectar.

enjoying the nectar.

3 thoughts on “Reptile Sex! (or the Blue Iguana Habitat tour)

  1. Ok, that gets my vote for best blog title yet! And very nicely photographed as well, voyeurism aside :-). Glad to see you’re still having a grand time (pun intended).

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