Guy Harvey Magazine

WIN-SPR 2018

Guy Harvey Magazine is focused on fishing, boating, scuba diving, and marine conservation. Portfolios from the world's best fishing photographers, articles on gear, travel, tournaments, apparel, lifestyle, seafood recipes, sustainable fisheries.

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Page 35 of 83

36 | Iguanas The Exuma Island iguana is a species of C. Cychlura. The sub-species is known from seven small cays scattered throughout the central and southern Exuma Island chain. The Exuma Island iguana utilizes a variety of habitats, including sandy beaches, xeric limestone devoid of vegetation and areas of vegetation. Limestone crevices and sand burrows are used as retreats at night and during severe weather conditions. Adult iguanas are herbivores and are arboreal as well as terrestrial feeders. Preferred food items are seasonally dependent and primarily consist of the flowers, fruits and leaves of darling plum, Joe wood, black torch, sea grape, bay cedar and silver thatch palm. Recent research by Dr. Chuck Knapp of the Shedd Aquarium, who has been studying the iguanas for more that 20 years, indicates that feeding the iguanas an unnatural diet—junk food offered by well-meaning tourists—contributes to alarming digestive problems, nutritional deficiencies and elevated cholesterol levels. So please do not feed the iguanas! Seabirds The Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park contains a variety of uninhabited cays and rocks that support many seabird species of conservation concern. These include Audubon shearwaters and several species of endangered or threatened terns. The Audubon shearwater is a Western Atlantic endemic with a known total population of 3,000 to 5,000 pairs. Half of these nest in The Bahamas with one- fifth of the remaining population nesting on Long Cay, just north of Warderick Wells; smaller populations can be found on Noddy, Little Cistern, Rocky Dundas and Osprey Cays. The shearwaters nest in holes, crevices, caves and limestone sinkholes. The white-tailed tropicbird is also a Western Atlantic endemic subspecies with an approximate population of less than 4,000 pairs. There are Wildlife in the exuma cays An adult Iguana sunning on the shore of the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park. Photo by Lorraine Minns. BY LYNN GAPE

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