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Blue iguana breeding program succeeding - SFGate -
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"The blue iguana has lived on the rocky shores of Grand Cayman for at least a couple of million years, preening like a miniature turquoise dragon as it soaked in the sun or sheltered inside crevices. Yet having survived everything from tropical hurricanes to ice ages, it was driven to near-extinction by dogs, cats and cars. Now, though, a breeding program some see as a global model has worked better than any had hoped to dream for a species that numbered less than a dozen in the wild just a decade ago, preyed upon by escaped pets and struggling to survive in a habitat eroded by the advance of human settlement. Roughly 700 blazing blue iguanas breed and roam free in protected woodlands on the eastern side of Grand Cayman, a 22-mile-long speck in the western Caribbean that is the only place where the critically endangered animals are found in the wild. "The kind of results that we've gotten show that it's practical and realistic to say you can restore a population of iguanas from practically nothing, just so long as you can capture the genetic variety from the beginning," said Fred Burton, the unsalaried director of the Blue Iguana Recovery Program, a partnership linking the islands' National Trust to local and overseas agencies and groups." -
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