It is truly the dream of all living things to flourish. To thrive. To be so blessed and in our lane that we just glide through life like a glowing orb of light. Few achieve such impossible bliss, but the iguanas of the Galápagos Islands sure have. My envy is palpable, my joy overwhelming.
Yes, friends, we’re coming at you with some gorgeous, gorgeous news. After completely disappearing from Santiago Island (one of the Galápagos Islands 1,000 kilometres from the coast of Ecuador), the iguanas have returned and are thriving.
Per the ABC, the Santiago Island iguanas were reported as missing during a 1903-1906 expedition. That’s a mighty long time to go all Gone Girl on the human race.
Allow me to clarify, however — the OG iguanas (Oguanas?) have NOT returned from their swim with Harold Holt.
Authorities from the Galapagos National Park introduced roughly 2,480 iguanas to Santiago Island back in 2019 and the good news today is that they’re reproducing, thriving and flourishing.
Oh to be an iguana on Santiago Island just eating all day, looking cute, being work-free and having sex all the time. Très beau!
“187 years later, we are once again seeing a healthy population of land iguanas,” said Galapagos National Park authority director Danny Rueda in a statement.
“We found males, females, youths and newborns. This means the iguanas in Santiago Island are reproducing in a successful way and they are carrying out their corresponding ecological role.
“It’s a great conservation achievement and strengthens our hopes of restoration on the islands that have been severely affected by introduced species.”
And what exactly is the important ecological role of the iguana?
Well, Rueda pointed out that these gorgeous little critters create paths when they walk, remove unwanted soil from the island, disperse seeds all over the place and (unfortunately) offer up their cute little bodies as a divine offering to birds like the sparrowhawk, who for almost two centuries have gone without a tasty iguana-shaped snack.
Godspeed iguanas of Santiago Island. May your harvest be bountiful, your skin forever clear and your dreams accomplishable. They were not only reintroduced to the island, but to our hearts as well.