Record Details

Bock, Brian C;Rand, A Stanley;Burghardt, Gordon M
Seasonal migration and nesting site fidelity in the green iguana
Migration: Mechanisms and Adaptive Significance. Vol 27, Supplement to Contributions in Marine Science
Book Section
M.A. Rankin
University of Texas Press
Austin, Texas
Iguana iguana
The seasonal migrations of female green iguanas (Iguana iguana) to nesting clearings on small islands around Barro Colorado Island in Panama were investigated using mark-recapture and radio-telemetry techniques. Although iguanas explored and occasionally nested in new clearings that became available during this study, our recapture results indicate that once iguanas locate a suitable nesting site, they usually return to nest there year after year. Female iguanas appear to nest annually upon reaching sexual maturity. Radio-tracking of iguanas as they moved away from one nesting site demonstrated that the lizards moved only moderate distances away from the site and always remained along the lake shoreline. Two iguanas were followed in successive years, and each returned to the same general vicinity each year, which suggests they were returning to established home areas. Because nesting sites are scarce and widely separated in this area, the limited movements and nesting site fidelity of the female iguanas may be contributing to a genetic structuring of their population.