Conservation of the endemic spiny Iguana

Project name:

Iguana Station

Project purpose:

Conservation of the endemic spiny Iguana

Project activities:

  • animal interaction

  • animal rehabilitation

  • community awareness

  • data collection/analysis

  • habitat restoration/management

  • teaching

Terrestrial

Honduras

Central America

1 Ratings

100 % would recommend

Weekly cost (approx USD):

$

80

Direct benefits you gain:

  • cultural integration

  • data/statistical skills

  • field research skills

  • remote scenic location

Noteworthy conservation points:

Accommodation:

shared dormitory

Requirements:

Facilities:

accommodation included, cooking facilities, electricity, local shops, nearby medical facilities, shower (hot), shower (cold), toilet (western), wifi, laundry machine

Details of the day-to-day life on the project:

The iguana station is located on Utila, Honduras. It's a beautiful little conservation project that works predominantly on the spiny iguana which is endemic to Utila. I spent a month at this project, and I visited schools, did beach clean ups and street clean ups, visited mangroves and collected data on iguana abundance, collected food for the iguanas by hand ( aka using a machete to get down a termite nest!). You really get your hands in for this project, and you pretty much do a full rotation of every kind of job.

 

You might be building, cooking, teaching, and of course collecting data for the conservation of the species. The island Utila is of course buzzing, and in your free time you can go to plenty of restaurants and bars, or maybe go diving! It's a really cool little conservation project, and the volunteer fee is incredibly low, although there is a registration fee if you're an international volunteer ($170).

How long can I stay?

When does the project run?

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Reviews & ratings

Harriet E

I volunteered with the IS for 3 months in 2014, but i ended up cutting it short to just a month. I loved the staff and the other volunteers were great, but I found myself becoming bored by the project activities. Every day we woke up and fed the Iguanas, and then had a daily schedule which rotated a few activities around, such as fetching food for the iguanas, teaching in local schools, rubbish clean ups and mangrove surveys. After a month I felt as if i had seen everything that the project had to offer, and decided to leave and travel.

Obviously, this is my own experience, and maybe it has changed since i volunteered. I found that there was little actual conservation happening, and felt as if it was more of a reptile zoo rather than a progressive project. Of course, there were endemic iguanas in the project and they were in breeding pairs and were mating, but i just didn't feel as if the project contributed much. However, i'm a marine biologist and not massively interested in herpatology, so in reflection I'm not really sure why i chose this project haha.

The accommodation is shared dormitories within the research station, and the station is a 5 minute walk from the main road in Utila, so restaurants and bars are easy to get too. There are diving schools everywhere and beautiful beaches to spend your day off at, and the island generally is really laid back and beautiful. Honduran food is amazing, so make sure that you try a baleadas because they are the best!

I would recommend this project to those interested in terrestrial conservation, but for me as a marine biologist the allure of the ocean and dive centres was too much for me.

Volunteer

It's all about iguanas