Endangered Whistling Ducks and invasive Green Iguanas

Invasive Green Iguanas (Iguana iguana) at Bel Air Park, South Sound Jan.21, 2013

Green Iguanas at Bel Air Park, South Sound, Grand Cayman, Jan.21, 2013

Green Iguanas at Bel Air Park, South Sound, Grand Cayman, Jan.21, 2013

Green Iguanas and West Indian Whistling Ducks

Video:  Grand Cayman, Jan.21, 2013:

Endangered West Indian Whistling Ducks, Whistlers – Dendrocygna arborea and highly INVASIVE herbivorous, arboreal Green Iguanas – Iguana iguana, native to Central America at Bel Air Park, South Sound, Grand Cayman.

The dried fronds of the Coconut palm trees are very slippery.

Whistling Ducks, domestic ducks, moorhens, Cayman’s ubiquitous chickens, Hickatees (Taco River Slider – Trachemys decussata angusta, a fresh water turtle) and Green Iguanas congregate at the pond. Tricolored Herons are on the trees at the far edge of the pond. Other herons and egrets are sometimes seen here too.

Bel Air pond, West Indian Whistling Ducks, Moorhens and Hickatee (by Mangrove roots), South Sound. Photo: Ann Stafford, July 1, 2008

Bel Air pond, West Indian Whistling Ducks, Moorhens and Hickatee (by Mangrove roots), South Sound. Photo: Ann Stafford, July 1, 2008

The Green Iguana should not be confused with Grand Cayman’s Endangered endemic Blue Iguana – Cyclura lewisi.

The West Indian Whistling Duck is the only duck to breed in the Cayman Islands and is a protected species, listed as Endangered. People feed them at various locations and they have become well-loved and very tame. Their population is increasing. At South Sound, for example, they will be heard, even if not seen, whistling on the wing, after sunset.

West Indian Whistling ducks – parents and their 10 ducklings, Cayman Crossing, South Sound, July 10, 2011

West Indian Whistling ducks – parents and their 10 ducklings, Cayman Crossing, South Sound, July 10, 2011

Whistler on the Roof

West Indian Whistling ducks on the roof, Lakes at South Sound, Photo: Ann Stafford, July 30, 2010

West Indian Whistling ducks on the roof, Lakes at South Sound, Grand Cayman. Photo: Ann Stafford, July 30, 2010

West Indian Whistling ducks on the roof, Lakes at South Sound, Grand Cayman. Photo: Gaby Tyson, Oct.3, 2011.

West Indian Whistling ducks on the roof, Lakes at South Sound. Photo: Gaby Tyson, Oct.3, 2011.

Conserving wetlands and their birdlife throughout the West Indies.

West Indian Whistling Ducks Conservation Project
Restricted to the northern West Indies, the West Indian Whistling-Duck (Dendrocygna arborea) is among the rarest ducks in the Americas.

“The combined effects of habitat loss, overhunting, and predation by introduced rats and mongoose have wiped out the species from some islands and reduced its numbers drastically on others. Breeding populations are now known to exist on only a few islands, including several of the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos Islands, Hispaniola, Puerto Rico and Antigua-Barbuda.

The West Indian Whistling-Duck (WIWD) and Wetlands Conservation Project seeks to reverse the decline of the globally threatened WIWD and the continuing loss of wetlands throughout the Caribbean. Initiated in 1997, the program provides local teachers and educators with training and educational materials and works to raise public awareness and appreciation for the value of local wetlands.”

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