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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Black Iguana in Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve

The tropical dry forest habitat found in Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve is ideal for the Black Iguana (Ctenosaura similis). The Black Iguana is much more numerous here than the Green Iguana (Iguana iguana). These animals can easily be found in the late morning, taking sun on limbs of tall trees. Here we find a refuge for the animal in a hollowed trunk of a dead palm, in the yard at Estacion Biologica.

Black Iguana

Iguana Nicaragua
The animal slowly leaves his hole, so slowly that he is almost not noticed. It's morning-time to get some sun to raise the body temperature.
Ctenosaura similis in Nicaragua

The black iguana is far more common in Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve than the green iguana (Iguana iguana), and is hunted for its delicious meat throughout its range in Nicaragua. Although it spends most of its day still or moving very slowly, it can move explosively, and is the fastest moving of all lizards.

Iguana hunting peaks during the dry season, because many unscrupulous hunters use fire as a weapon, setting fires to hollow trees with iguana nesting holes in them to make them jump out. These fires often spread to remaining forest and go out of control. These fires destroy habitat for many animals and plants, and destroy numerous environmental services of a forest: soil quality and integrity, water capture, and carbon fixation are all compromised by forest fires. As a result, we recommend to avoid consuming iguana.

Wildlife photography is not difficult in Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve. We can arrange a professional guide to accompany you to the forest and help you find wildlife. Several members of our staff are professionals involved in studies of the wildlife in the area.

nature tours wildlife photography Nicaragua
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