Endangered Whistling Ducks and invasive Green Iguanas
Invasive Green Iguanas (Iguana iguana) at Bel Air Park, South Sound Jan.21, 2013
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.
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.
Whistler on the Roof
Conserving wetlands and their birdlife throughout the West Indies.
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.”