British Virgin Islands Guana Island Trails Topo Map

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Guana Island, at 850 acres, is the sixth largest of the BVI. It is named for an iguana-shaped rock formation on its northwestern coast and is just off the northern coast of Tortola. The island is now privately owned, although it was inhabited in the 18th century by Quakers who raised cotton and vegetable crops as well as a small amount of livestock. The present-day owners’ interest in conservation has led them to establish Guana Island as a true nature preserve and wildlife sanctuary. Closed to the public for several weeks each year, the resort hosts conferences in which some of the world’s most distinguished naturalists, botanists, biologists, and other scientists gather to study the island’s unique natural history. It is proclaimed by these scientists to have the “richest fauna known for an island its size anywhere in the West Indies and possibly in the world.” Guana Island has a long-term program to restore and protect native flora and fauna. The success of this program may be measured by the reestablishment of myriad plants and the return of the Caribbean roseate flamingo, the land turtle, and the Anegada iguana. The Anegada iguana (Iguana pinguis) was once found throughout the BVI and Puerto Rico, but now lives only on Anegada and Guana Island.

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