In 1948, the Jamaican Iguana was considered extinct. In 1990, it was rediscovered by Mr. Edin Duffus who was hunting pigs in the Helshire Hills, St. Catherine
This iguana is native to the island of Jamaica and is the island’s largest land animal reaching a body length of 150 cm or more. Jamaican iguanas are green with blush shading and dark olive-green lines on the shoulder. The female Iguanas often appear reddish-brown because of digging in the red dirt to build nests. The worst threats to the Jamaican Iguana are from predators such as Mongooses, cats, stray dogs and wild pig that eat the young. Another threat to their livelihood is from the burning of the forest for charcoal production.
The Jamaican Iguana has been the subject of an intensive conservation and recovery effort and is beginning to make a strong comeback. The two largest nesting sites continue to yield hatchlings for a head start program at Kingston’s Hope Zoo and as of 2011, 155 young adult Iguanas have been released into their native habitat.