Anguilla's sparse wildlife (fauna) population has been expanded in recent years with the re-emergence of the illusive Iguana Delicatissima.
The Island's appointed custodian of its Marine, fauna, flora, and historical heritgage, the Anguilla National Trust, has spearheaded a thrust to ensure the the propogation of the Iguana.
It is in promotion of this interest that the Anguilla General Post Office has issued a set of four postage stamps to assist in making the public aware of the importance of protecting this endangered reptile.
The stamp issue endorced by the "World Wildlife Fund for Nature" (WWF) depicts the Iguana Delicatissima in four environment settings and the artist's interpretation of the subject is strikingly realistic.
Iguanas are large herbivore reptiles whch live largely in the dry forest throughout the West Indies and are virtually harmless to humans. They play a vital role in the dispersal of seeds of numerous forest plants.
Iguanas were historically abundant on every island from Anguilla to Martinique. Over the years this situation has changed dramatically due to loss of forest, hunting for food and as well the impact of predators such as dogs, Mongoose, cats, and grazers like goats who compete for food and damage the forest.
As a result of these pressumes, the Lesser Antillean Iguanas are threatened with extinction across their range and many islands such as St. Kitts, Nevis and Antigua no longer have Iguanas.
On Anguilla the small Iguana population inhabits a relatively small section of the northern coast and live in rock crevices. The reptiles feed mainly on shrubs such as Chink, Cattle Tongue, Mutton Polly, Antigua Balsam and White Cedar.
It is believed that mating occurs in spring (April-May) and nesting in early summer. Hatching occurs in late summer/early fall (August, September, October).
To enhance the chances for juvenile survival, the Anguilla National Trust is considering captive breeding of the Iguana Delicatissima, a move which would significantly help to ensure the survival of this endangered species.
|Title of Issue:||Lesser Antillean Iguana|
|Reason for Issue:||To help promote the importance of protecting the Iguana|
|Value:||20 cents, 50 cents, 75 cents, and $3.00 EC|
|Designer:||John Lister Ltd.|
|Printer:||The House of Questa, Ltd.|
|Stamp Size:||31.75mm x 48.26mm|
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