Iguana Research and Breeding Station Utila
Conservation Project Utila Iguana Since 1994, the Frankfurt Zoological Society and the Senckenberg Nature Research Society have worked jointly to preserve the endangered lizard Ctenosaura bakeri, the Utila Spiny-tailed Iguana. Several other organizations, e.g. Honduran NGOs, have provided support for the project. More than 200 volunteers have also assisted with work in the field. In addition to the preservation of the Utila Iguana and its critical mangrove habitat, other core goals of the project include sustainable development of the island of Utila (a popular destination for divers), as well as the creation of environmental awareness among the local inhabitants by providing information and environmental education. The Utila Iguana has become emblematic for the conservation of the important mangrove habitat, the ecological significance and endangered status of which are often underestimated compared to rainforest and coral reefs. Since 1998, the Iguana Station, built by the Zoological Society, has provided a home base for environmental education efforts, iguana breeding and ecological research. Most of the work has been done with the help of volunteers, who spend usually from 3 to 12 weeks at the Station. Longer stays are appreciated.