Like people, Rhinoceros Iguanas love a tropical paradise, living in the sunny nations of Haiti, the Dominican Republic, as well as many of the smaller, surrounding Caribbean islands. Don’t expect to find them lazing on the beach though! While they can live in a number of different habitats, these guys prefer drier, rockier terrain in coastal areas where their grey-brown colouring helps them blend into the stone.
These massive lizards enjoy a mostly vegetarian diet, feeding on plants and seeds, although they will eat insects and carrion when they can find it. Breeding happens once a year, with females laying a clutch of up to 34 eggs into a nest dug deep in the sand. The mothers may then guard the eggs until they hatch 85 days later, after which the baby iguanas are left to fend for themselves.
Sadly, the plight of Rhinoceros Iguanas in the wild is getting worse. It’s estimated that around 35 per cent of the iguanas’ habitat in the Dominican Republic has been completely destroyed due to logging, mining and agriculture. The habitat that does remain is severely fragmented. Rhinoceros Iguanas also face predation from feral animals such as dogs, cats, pigs and mongooses.