Utila has long been notorious for its Iguana population, the black Iguana or “Swamper”. This species is extremely rare and native only to Utila. The Iguana Station, a short walk away from Utila Town’s main road, plays a crucial role in the conservation of the endemic island’s iguana species. Their efforts are focused upon understanding the natural history of the “Swamper” with different scientific research. A breeding program supports the population in the mangroves.
More than 750 hatchlings were already bred and released. The Iguana Station also provides an environmental education program in the schools of Utila and supports sustainable development and tourism.
Much of their work in Utila is undertaken by volunteers from all over the world.
Other species that can be found on Utila include the Monkey La La or “Jesus Lizards” and a variety of geckos. A leisurely walk from the sea into the bush finds the hermit crabs being slowly replaced by larger blue and white land crabs that hide themselves amongst the mangroves.
Utila boasts many native trees and plants. The Gumba Limba tree which thrives at Utopia Village, is a tall cinnamon-colored tree that sheds its bark similar to sunburned skin revealing a deep olive trunk beneath the surface. Almond trees, a variety of palms and fichus are also prevalent on the Utopia Village property.