Iguana Be Alone
Iguana species in the West Indies are in trouble due to invasive species and habitat destruction. The iguanas — which can reach five feet in length and live up to 40 years — were declared by the World Conservation Union in 1997 to be “the most endangered lizards in the world.” Resort and housing developments on some Caribbean islands have destroyed crucial iguana habitat, and animals brought to the islands by Europeans — including goats, pigs, cattle, cats, dogs, and mongooses — disturb iguana nests, feast on their eggs, and eat the vegetation on which they feed. A conservation effort aimed at the Jamaica iguana involves protecting nesting areas, raising hatchlings at a zoo until they are big enough to fend off invasive predators, and monitoring released iguanas by radio transmitters. Nike joined the effort last year when it agreed to custom-make vests for the iguanas to hold the radio transmitters, using sturdy fabric that can stand up to being rubbed along abrasive rock.