Epic, St. Maarten Nature Foundation launch iguana relocation

POSTED: 06/9/11 12:51 PM

St. Maarten – Environmental Protection in the Caribbean (Epic) and the St. Maarten Nature Foundation have launched a capture and relocate operation to save iguanas at Mullet Bay, St. Maarten. The action is a response to concerns by residents that workers at the demolition sites are capturing the protected animals for food and for sale.

Volunteers interested in assisting EPIC and Nature Foundation with this project are should email rjthompson@epicislands.org or manager@naturefoundationsxm.org and provide their name and telephone number. Iguana capture and relocation will most likely take place on Saturday mornings.

Iguanas are protected under international and local legislation, including under Appendix II of CITES, under Appendix III of the SPAW Protocol and under Section IV article 16 and 17 of the St. Maarten Nature Conservation Ordinance. Harming, killing, buying or selling them is an illegal act and punishable by law.

The first calls about the illegal capture and sale were made on Tuesday. Based on those complaints the St. Maarten organizations decided to relocate the animals. More calls were made on Wednesday and staffers of both organizations went to the site. When they visited they found three iguanas tied up and hidden away in a container. After informing the workers it is illegal under both St. Maarten laws and international treaties, the staffers released the animals at a safe location.

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