FaceBook Twitter Instagram
 
Mona Island, Puerto Rico
This 5,500 ha island is home to a remarkable seven endemic reptiles and one amphibian that occur nowhere else on the planet.
Mona Island is a 5,500 ha rocky limestone island, lying in between the Greater Antilles between Puerto Rico and Hispaniola. The island habitat is classified as subtropical dry forest, and has no permanent habitation. Mona is home to a remarkable seven endemic reptiles and one amphibian that occur nowhere else on the planet. Three of these species (Mona Rhinoceros Iguana, Mona Boa, and Mona Blind Snake) are listed as Endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Sadly, the island is also occupied by three destructive invasive species—feral cats, goats and pigs—threatening Mona’s unique species. Feral cats prey upon adult and juvenile reptiles while pigs dig up nests and consume reptile eggs. Feral cats have been identified as the key threat to the Endangered Rhinoceros Iguana by preying upon smaller immature iguanas, placing the population in decline by limiting the number of young iguanas that will eventually breed . Both feral goats and pigs trample vegetation and compact soils collapsing iguana burrows that are critical for breeding. Feral goats compete with iguanas for food by consuming vegetation. Goats will eat all parts of the plant—including roots—making regeneration impossible.
 
Fortunately, invasive species can be removed from islands. Island Conservation is initiating work with local partners in the region to restore Mona Island and protect its threatened species by removing invasive species. 
Endangered Mona Rhinoceros Iguana (Cyclura cornuta stejnegeri)

Copyright 2007 Island Conservation • All Rights Reserved   |   Disclaimer • Privacy Policy • Site Map • Contact Us