La Réserve naturelle de Saint-Martin est une aire marine protégée de 30km2 située au nord-est de l’île de Saint-Martin. Créé en 1998, cet espace préserve les cinq principaux écosystèmes de l’île : récifs coralliens, mangroves, herbiers de phanérogames, étangs et forêt sèche littorale. La Réserve gère également les 14 étangs du Conservatoire du littoral et ses 11 km de rivages terrestres naturels.

The Réserve’s iguana mission in Martinique

Un iguane des Petites Antilles | A Lesser Antillean green iguana
Un iguane des Petites Antilles | A Lesser Antillean green iguana

354 Lesser Antillean Green Iguanas were identified on March 22-28 in Martinique, on the small island of Chancel, with the participation of Julien Chalifour, director of the scientific division of the Réserve Naturelle de Saint-Martin, which is a member of a regional network. These observations were made as part of a project coordinated by the Office National de la Chasse et de la Faune Sauvage (ONCFS), as part of a national action in favor of this protected species led by Élisa Curot-Lodéon, director of the «Lesser Antillean Green Iguanas project» initiated by the Ministry of Ecology. Chancel has the advantage of not being invaded by the common iguana, so it represents an ideal site to study the Lesser Antillean Green Iguanas, which are abundant here. This deserted islet was divided into six observation zones, and six teams of two observers each patrolled their zone throughout the day. The mission comprises trapping the iguanas in the trees or on the rocks, weighing and measuring them, checking to see if they had any parasites or wounds, and verifying if they had been banded or had a chip under their skin, which are means of identification that have been used for the past 10 years. If the individual iguana did not yet have a chip, one was implanted subcutaneously. As it is extremely hard to tell one iguana from another, those that had already been identified were marked with a number of their flanks. In the end, 354 Lesser Antillean Green Iguanas on Chancel are now equipped with a chip, including 104 new individuals, as there were 250 that already had chips. This mission provided an occasion for Julien Chalifour to meet the agents working in the projected zones of Saint Eustatius, La Désirade, and Saint Barth - where a bacterial infection caused a high level of mortality in the Lesser Antillean Green Iguanas population - as well as members of environmental protection agencies in Guadeloupe and Martinique. In the near future, as part of this national project, Caroline Fleury will take part in an identical mission on the island of La Désirade.

Un iguane des Petites Antilles | A Lesser Antillean green iguana
Un iguane des Petites Antilles | A Lesser Antillean green iguana

All articles from: Newsletter-23

Reinforcement On A Regional

? Top