Target: Michael Peart, Speaker of the Parliament of Jamaica
Goal: Don’t let the charcoal industry destroy the remaining habitat of the endangered Jamaican Iguana
The Jamaican Iguana is poised to become a major success story of conservationist efforts. Once so rare as to be dubbed “the most endangered lizard in the world”, the iguana saw its numbers recover in captivity over the past two decades. A total of 52 lizards—a record number since recovery efforts began—have just been released into the wild. But the Jamaican Iguana’s comeback could soon be cut short if its natural habitat continues to be decimated by charcoal companies.
Thought to be extinct for 50 years, the Jamaican Iguana reappeared in 1990 when a dog caught an adult male in the wild. Human hunting and invasive species like the Indian Mongoose caused iguana populations to dwindle to nearly nothing. Like many animals in the country, the Jamaican Iguana thrives in the remaining dry forests of southern Jamaica. These primary forests are currently being cut down at an alarming rate every day by charcoal companies. If current projections hold true, the iguana’s remaining habitat could be gone entirely in the next few decades.
The Jamaican Iguana has come too far to see its numbers lost to senseless environmental destruction. Existing environmental legislation is not adequate to protect the iguana’s natural habitat. Urge Jamaica to save the Jamaican Iguana from certain extinction by banning the charcoal industry from harvesting these forests.
Dear Mr. Peart,
Once a regular sight in the forests of Jamaica, the Jamaican Iguana has now all but disappeared. Conservationists have been working tirelessly to restore the species’ numbers, and have recently been enjoying great success breeding the animal in captivity. Fifty-two iguanas were just released into the wild to supplement remnant populations. But all that effort could all be for nothing if Jamaica’s dry forests—the iguana’s natural habitat—are destroyed.
Charcoal companies devour these primary forests at an astonishing rate every day. Current projections indicate that the iguana’s habitat could be completely destroyed in the coming decades. Not only would Jamaican Iguanas disappear from the planet, but countless other species who call these forests home would suffer dramatic population decreases or go extinct entirely as well.
Current protections for these forests are not enough to stave off the destruction of charcoal companies. I demand stricter regulation to ensure that the Jamaican Iguana may recover its numbers in peace.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Georgia Popplewell via Flickr