Baker's Spiny-Tailed Iguana
This rare iguana typically inhabits mangrove forests and vegetated sandy shores of Útila Island, Honduras.
They are an omnivorous species.
Individuals are commonly observed hiding in the hollows of black and white Mangrove trees, which they use as retreats. They make special use of mangrove roots and lagoons by diving into them and swimming or submerging themselves to avoid predation. Adults are largely arboreal.
Females lay an average of 11 to 16 eggs in shallow nests, often in sandy beach areas. The incubation period is 2.5 to 3 months and upon emerging, hatchlings spend time on the forest floor, camouflaged by their dark skin.
This Critically Endangered iguana was brought to the brink of extinction in the 1990s. The total population size is unknown but analyses are currently underway and it is likely to be less than 6,000 individuals.
They suffer from habitat loss and fragmentation due to development for tourism, as well as degradation of nesting habitat due to local and oceanic pollution. They are protected by Honduran law through a ban on hunting, in place since 1994, however, actual enforcement of this law is inadequate.
- Latin Name: Ctenosaura bakeri
- Class: Reptiles
- Order: Squamata
- Family: Iguanidae
- Conservation status: Critically Endangered
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