The St. Croix ground lizard is so rare. Since 1969, the indigenous lizard had not been found on St Croix, having been eliminated by mongoose, rats, and degraded habitats. Recently, the Department of Planning and Natural Resources has experimentally returned the namesake St. Croix Ground Lizard to St. Croix for the first time in 50 years. It is one of the world’s most endangered reptiles!

In an effort to help recover the species from being endangered, the Division of Fish and Wildlife has reintroduced two experimental populations to St. Croix. Since 2020, a big cooperative project with different partners have tried to create an environment more friendly to the indigenous lizard population.

Organizations involved in the project include: Division of Fish and Wildlife, the University of the Virgin Islands, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. National Park Service, DPNR Coastal Zone Management Division, St. Croix Environmental Association, California Academy of Sciences, and Texas A&M University.

Read the full article here.

Photo from St. Croix Source, credit to Department of Planning and Natural Resources.

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