Conservationist tells own story of work with “blues”

| 19/04/2010

(CNS): Local naturalist and author, Fred Burton, has penned a new book on the subject for which he is best known. The Little Blue Book – a short history of the Grand Cayman Blue Iguana will become available in the Cayman Islands this week, beginning with a launch party on Wednesday, 21 April, at the CBlu restaurant at Rackams, on the George Town waterfront, from 6 to 8 pm. As the title implies, The Little Blue Book tells the story of Grand Cayman’s unique reptile, from pre-Columbian abundance to the brink of extinction and last minute rescue. Burton weaves the story of his journey to save this desperately endangered species with fascinating insights about the iguanas, illustrated by plenty of rich colourful photography.

The book’s first print run was sponsored by Greenlight Re, a leading reinsurance company based in the Cayman Islands. It is published and designed by the International Reptile Conservation Foundation (IRCF), which has been one of the Blue Iguana Recovery Programme’s longest standing international partners. “It’s a really exciting moment, after all these years helping this inspiring programme realize its goals, to see the story coming out in print,” said IRCF President and CEO, John Binns.

Author Fred Burton noted, “As a conservation worker, I’ve written technical publications and field guides. But this book is a much more personal account. I wanted the story of the Blue Iguana to be told in a way that everyone can enjoy, so this is a bite-sized book full of photographs and true stories, written the way I would talk to the reader in person.”

Burton was awarded an MBE by Her Majesty the Queen of England in 2008, and recently became the first recipient of the UK Government Joint Nature Conservancy Committee’s “Blue Turtle” Award, both in recognition of his work in saving endangered species and habitats in the Cayman Islands. The Blue Iguana Recovery Programme, which he directs, is a programme of the National Trust for the Cayman Islands, with local and international partners.

Greenlight Re is hosting the launch party Wednesday evening. Copies of the book will be available at the launch, which is open to anyone who is interested. Starting this week local stores will be carrying the hardback book, which retails at CI$18. Online mail order, both for international customers and for local delivery in the Cayman Islands, is already available at the publisher’s web site

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  1. Craig Pelke says:

    Just got my copy Fred….great book!  Can’t wait to get back down there to hit the bush again!  Craig

  2. peter milburn says:

    Congrats Fred.You have truly brought this beautiful animal back from the brink.You deserve all the accolades you can get for this.Cayman should be truly in your debt for all the hard work you have put into this venture.Well done and I hope that you get a "gong"for your efforts as you fully deserve it.

  3. peter milburn says:

    Great job Fred.You have truly helped to bring back such a beautiful animal from the brink..The Cayman Islands are truly in your debt.If anyone deserves a gong its you.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Fred is awesome, and this book is fabulous! I look forward to the book release!!


  5. Anonymous says:

    Excellent!  Well done Fred.  I am looking forward to reading the book.  And thank you to the sponsors, Greenlight Re, for taking the initiative in helping to produce an account of these beautiful, native, endangered species.