Monday, June 6, 2011

Reproductive Cycle and Family Habits iguana

Reproductive Cycle and Family Habits iguana : Green iguanas tend to live alone, but may be seen in groups occasionally in good sunny basking spots. Iguanas lay many eggs at a time (about 50), in holes inthe ground called burrows. They also dig pretend burrows to confuse any animals that may be looking for eggs to eat. After female iguanas lay the eggs, they leave them and do not return. When iguana babies hatch, they grow up without care from their parents. Green iguanas lay many eggs, but only 3-10 babies actually survive to be adults. It takes green iguana eggs about 8-10 weeks to hatch, then takes baby iguanas about 2 years to become mature adults.

Diet: Green iguanas are omnivorous, so they eat both plants and meat. They tend to eat mostly plants, though, especially leaves and fruits. Sometimes green iguanas (especially young ones) will eat eggs, insects, and small vertebrates.

Threats to Survival: Like many trpoical species, the green iguana is also threatened by habitat destruction. The green iguana is also a victim of the pet industry. Many people in the United States and elsewhere want a green iguana for a pet, so there is a big demand for their capture. Although many pet iguanas are now being raised on iguana farms, capture from the wild has lowered their numbers. In addition, some local populations of South America hunt the green iguana for food.

Conservation Efforts: Laws have been made to protect green iguanas from over-hunting and the pet-trade. Unfortunately, these laws are not enforced very well. Many people are trying to develop protected areas for the iguanas, and to educate local populations about the importance of conservation. Some of these educational programs help local populations find new ways of using the land, without permanantly destroying it. For example, for people who want to continue to eat the green iguana, programs are being developed to raise these animals for food, instead of hunting wild ones. Tony Garel, at the Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center, is woking on one such project to conserve the iguanas and educate local communities Tony has used captive breeding techniques to increase green iguana populations, and has released some of these iguanas into the wild.

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