The Bay Islands Foundation’s Iguana Research & Breeding Station has become a headquarters for national and international volunteers that are interested in wildlife conservation. The volunteers are paramount for completing our goals. They cooperate in all the community outreach, research, and general activities that the FIB promotes through the year.
The Breeding Program
The Breeding Program concentrates its conservation efforts through the breeding and releasing of the endemic Utila Spiny-tailed Iguana, Ctenosaura bakeri, which is currently listed as critically endangered (CR) by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature IUCN. This program is led by our German advisor Mrs. Elke Binn, who carefully handles the incubation process from beginning to end.
This program is designed to promote and support, logistically and technically, the research projects of university students and scientists who are interested in the wildlife biology and ecology and other related fields.
Currently, we are conducting research on:
- Mangrove ecology
- Ctenosaura bakeri population ecology
- Cardisoma guanhumi population ecology
- Coastal erosion around the island
- Invasive species monitoring
The Bay Islands Foundation works closely with the Municipality of Utila and the central government to facilitate the permits for research that every guest scientist needs.
Environmental Education Program
This program was developed with the definitive goal of encouraging the local population to promote a positive attitude towards natural resources, with children and youth as our primary groups of action, hoping that they will multiply our efforts in their families and the rest of the community. The activities of this program are mainly developed in school and then are complemented with outdoor activities, which are part of the informal methods of education. Through an active learning methodology, children and youth have a better opportunity change their perceptions of the environment and becoming true stewards of nature
Nature Is Our Business
In 1994 the Zoologische Gesellschaft Frankfurt (1858), the Senckenbergische Naturforschende Gesellschaft (1817) and other international conservation organizations along with Honduran institutions led by the German scientist and author Gunther Koehler, PhD., created the “Utila Conservation Project”.
The aim of the project was to protect and study the endemic and endangered Utila Spiny-tailed iguana, Ctenosaura bakeri. So, in 1997 the joint efforts bore fruits and the Iguana Research & Breeding Station was built.
25 years later, the Iguana Research & Breeding Station, now in care of the Bay Islands Foundation, a private non-profit organization, which is legally recognized by the Honduran government, stands as the leading nature research and conservation project of Honduras. Together, with our board members, dedicated staff, scientific advisors and exemplary team of volunteers, the Bay Islands Foundation continues to fulfill the goals set more than a decade ago.
- To support, guarantee and reinforce the continuity of the Iguana Research and Breeding Station, a project that concentrates its efforts for the conservation of the endemic iguana of Utila, Ctenosaura bakeri.
- Collaborate with the local and national authorities in order to reinforce the conservation of flora and fauna that is endemic or is of special interest and the conservation of their natural habitats.
- Promote, develop and participate in formal and informal programs for environmental education.
- Collaborate with national or international organizations that provide technical or financial resources for sustainable development and biodiversity conservation programs or projects.
- Encourage and support the scientific research with a biological, ecological or social focus.
- Offer environmental assessment to national or international, private or public organizations.
- Cooperate with governmental or private institutions in the management of protected terrestrial or marine areas.
- Promote and support the creation and management of protected private areas and other initiatives of conservation by private owners.
- Enforce the respect of the Honduran environmental laws and support the creation of new environmental laws.
- Promote and support the development of projects that improve the quality of life and living conditions of the community.
Our mission is to help the Honduran community to conserve their unique natural resources so that they are protected for future generations to benefit. We plan to achieve this by:
- Protecting the country’s endangered fauna and flora through conservation projects
- Delivering a dynamic environmental education program
- Developing sustainability based on scientific assessment
We will work constantly for the progress of Honduras, based on sustainability plans and program, giving all citizens an opportunity to achieve their own personal progress.
Our Ethic and Moral Values
Our ethics and moral values are based on the fundamental principles of the human rights culture:
- Respect: Respect for all human beings, individual rights and freedom; respect for different ways of thinking and beliefs; using harmony between communities as a foundation.
- Humanism: our fundamental job is to promote the growth and progress of each community to its full potential.
- Sustainability: The human being is part of nature, and owes its existence to nature, which is why we must promote and enforce the conservation of our environment.
- Transparency: We can clearly show that all of our actions are planned and accomplished according to legal and constitutional requirements.
- Equality: Everyone is the same in the eyes of the law, therefore we all have the same duties and the same opportunities to progress individually, acting with solidarity and without any distinctions.”