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Iguanas, orchids featured at UK talks

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By: Joe Shooman | joe@cfp.ky24 September 2010

The rare ghost orchid and threatened blue iguana will be central to talks by experts in London.

On 28 September, talks will be given by experts to guests invited to a Cayman Islands event at a newspaper office in London. It was set up by the Department of Tourism Europe in conjunction with tour operators and the Daily Telegraph newspaper.

Botanic Park

At the event, John Lawrus of the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park will speak about what the park has to offer, including ten orchid species, three of which are found uniquely on Cayman.

The botanic park was a gold medal recipient at the 2009 Chelsea Flower Show, winning accolades for its Undersea Reef Garden display. Mr Lawrus will speak of the new Orchid Garden, native plants and trees and the bird life at the park.

Blue Iguanas

Fred Burton will also be speaking at the event, which takes place at the offices of the Daily Telegraph.

The British scientist arrived on Grand Cayman in 1979 and first encountered the Grand Cayman Blue Iguana. Subsequently, Mr. Burton became environmental programmes director for the Cayman Islands National Trust and discovered that less than 15 were likely to be alive in the wild. This number, too few to breed, meant that the Blue Iguana was functionally extinct. Mr Burton put together a successful breeding programme and was awarded the MBE for preventing the extinction of the creatures.

 

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