Authors: Stesha Ann Pasachnik & Victor Martin-Velez
Understanding the diet of endangered species can benefit conservation efforts that involve habitat preservation and restoration. Caribbean rock iguanas, Cyclura spp., are among the most endangered lizards in the world, yet little is known about the diets of many of these species. In particular, the diets of the Rhinoceros rock iguana, Cyclura cornuta, and Ricord’s rock iguana, C. ricordii, from the Dominican Republic, are poorly understood. Here we present diet information from scat analyses of these two threatened endemic species. We report on a variety of new dietary items and identify seasonal core plant species (Consolea moniliformis, Stenocereus hystrix, Ximeniopsis horridus, Capparis flexuosa and Acacia sp.). Cyclura from the Dominican Republic are generalist herbivores, although animal matter is consumed at times and preference for particular vegetation exists. Variation in diet likely exists between the two species and is discussed. The information presented here advances our understanding of the ecology of these two species and will aid in management decisions and activities.