It might sound like a dream job, but the climate is hot, the terrain is treacherous, and the study subjects — some of the most endangered lizards in the world — can be uncooperative.
Undaunted, Dr. Chuck Knapp has made conservation of the Bahamian rock iguana his life’s work. Through his field studies, which began in 1994, Shedd is the leading authority on this species.
Rock iguana populations have suffered due to habitat loss on their fragile islands, the introduction of predators such as dogs, goats and pigs, heavy illegal hunting, increasing contact with tourists and smuggling for the illicit pet trade. And, as inhabitants of tiny islands, they have naturally small populations and nowhere to go when threatened.