Fort Worth Zoo’s conservation biologist Dr. Stesha Pasachnik, veterinarian Dr. Kim Rainwater and vet technician Brittany Yanez have spent the last week in Kingston, Jamaica for the annual Jamaican iguana health screen at the Hope Zoo Kingston. The Fort Worth Zoo team and several local and international partners have been hard at work – conducting full-body wellness checks and taking blood and fecal samples of more than 300 critically endangered Jamaican iguanas. Once thought to be extinct, this species represents a major conservation success story, as there are now more than 450 roaming in their native range thanks to the conservation efforts of many. And that number is expected to climb to more than 500 once a subset of the screened individuals are released into a protected area in the Hellshire Hills. The release is expected to take place in March, so stay tuned for updates!
A major thank you to all of the other organizations involved in these efforts:
National Environment & Planning Agency
Urban Development Corporation
San Diego Zoo
Wildlife Conservation Society
The University of the West Indies, Mona
Milwaukee County Zoo