Wednesday, November 9, 2011

More Land for Cayman's Blues

The current home of the critically endangered Grand Cayman Blue Iguana, the Salina Reserve, has recently expanded by 23 acres to give the Blues more room to establish.  “The importance of this land goes beyond the direct conservation value of the 23 acres involved,” said Fred Burton, Director of the Blue Iguana Recovery Programme. “The purchase has unlocked a previously blocked fragment of habitat, which together with the new parcel now almost doubles the area of shrub land available here for the Blue Iguanas to recolonize.”

A merger of funds from landowners, the National Trust’s European Union EDF9 grant and a supplementary grant from Maples FS has made this land purchase possible. The European Union grant to the Trust is part of a project "Management of Protected Areas to Support Sustainable Economies", currently being shared with the Turks and Caicos Islands and the British Virgin Islands. 

The Blue Iguana Recovery Programme, the National Trust and the Department of Environment are jointly implementing the grant, which includes funds for land acquisition for Blue Iguana habitat, development of nature tourism and education infrastructure. Addition programs in the new Colliers Wilderness Reserve, which is developing into a key home for the Blues, is also part of the grant implementation.