(CMR) Blue Iguana Conservation (BIC), managed by the National Trust for the Cayman Islands (NTCI), has launched a mobile app to aid in monitoring iguanas across the Cayman Islands. The Citizen Science Mobile App is called ‘E-guana'.
The NTCI has invited the general public and visitors to the Islands to download this new, free mobile application and use it to submit pictures of any iguanas seen on any of the three islands, whether alive or deceased.
This vital data will help inform the NTCI of iguana locations to help monitor populations of endemic Rock Iguanas and endemic Blue Iguanas and manage in real-time responses to reports of invasive species, such as green iguanas.
The mobile app was developed in partnership with Jay Mehta and Netclues and funded via private donations and a Darwin Plus grant. The app is free to download from the App Store (IoS) or Google Play (Android) and is very easy to use.
Program Manager at BIC, Luke Harding, said, “We are delighted to be able to launch this exciting app and encourage everyone who is either residing on or visiting these incredible Cayman Islands to do their bit to help us manage our endangered iguana species.”
“The data submitted will be vital to increase our knowledge and understanding of where the iguanas are or prefer to be. The more information that we can gather from our general public, the better informed we will be to help protect Grand Cayman’s Blue Iguanas and the Sister Islands’ Rock Iguana species and deal with threats such as invasive species, development and road infrastructure,” he added.
National Trust Chairman Melanie Carmichael said, “It is wonderful to see technology and science working together to help educate and monitor these rare and endangered species. Such small actions can manifest big impacts, and each person gets the opportunity to be involved. The National Trust is very grateful for the institutions and donors sponsoring this work, and I can't wait to see what will be discovered.”
Collected data will only be used for scientific purposes pertaining to any of the three iguana species found on our Islands: Grand Cayman's Blue Iguanas, Sister Islands' (Cayman Brac and Little Cayman) Rock Iguanas or the invasive green iguanas.
The NTCI encourages users to submit sightings, with photographs of the iguana wherever possible, so that more information can be gleaned about the location of iguanas and their threats, [particularly to Cayman's endemic species,] which will be highly valuable to the research.
“We encourage everyone across all three islands to download this app and join us in building a picture of what is out there. Whether you see iguanas on your land, on the road, or when you are roaming around the islands, please do submit sightings through E-guana, and that important data will be added to our system. We live in a world where many people are connected to their phones, giving us a unique opportunity to utilize social trends to help further science and conservation efforts. Please do download ‘E-guana' and encourage everyone you know to use it as well,” said Luke Harding, BIC Program Manager.
For more information on the E-guana mobile application, you may visit @blueiguanaconservation on Facebook and Instagram. For the E-guana How-To Guide, visit www.nationaltrust.org.ky or contact [email protected] For more information about Netclues, visit www.netclues.ky