Record Details

Searcy, Richard;Villers, Lynne;Reams, Richard;Wyatt, III, John;Pilarski, Jon
Captive reproduction of the Jamaican iguana (Cyclura collei)
Zoo Biology
Journal Article
Cyclura collei;reproduction;captive management
The Jamaican iguana (Cyclura collei) was considered to be extinct until its rediscovery in 1990 in the Hellshire Hills region of Jamaica. Between 1994 and 1996, several wild caught juveniles were placed in six North American zoological institutions including the Indianapolis Zoo. The intent was to establish a self-sustaining captive population outside of Jamaica in order to serve as an ancillary population should the wild numbers decline. Several environmental parameters such as temperature, humidity, photoperiod and diet were manipulated to encourage reproduction in captivity. In 2006, two clutches of eggs were deposited by two separate females for a total of 35 eggs. Twenty-six eggs were fertile and 22 hatched after a 76-83-day incubation at 30.3-30.8°C (86.5-86.7°F). The average weight of the neonates was 26.4 g and the average total length was 21.7 cm. This successful reproduction of C. collei constitutes the first North American hatching for this species. Environmental parameters, incubation techniques and neonate morphometry can serve as a baseline for further propagation of the species. This represents a positive milestone for the continuing conservation of this critically endangered species.