Chuck Kopczak, curator of ecology at the California Science Center, began studying the lizards of Guantanamo Bay in 2009, including the Anolis smallwoodi, pictured above. "Part of our goal," says Kopczak, "is to provide some of the individuals we brought back to zoos or other organizations that would display them and do basic research on their husbandry requirements. Since very little is known about the requirements of keeping A. smallwoodi in captivity and getting them to breed, our "living collections" staff have been working with our animals to develop this knowledge. So far we have had breeding success with all three of the species we brought back from Guantanamo."
Jeff Lemm adds that Guantanamo Naval Base provides a unique opportunity for herpetologists. Lemm, of the San Diego Zoo's Institute for Conservation Research, remarks that the base "is an easy place for U.S. researchers to work on Cuban wildlife. Cuba has so many reptiles and amphibians that we don't typically get to study. The Navy also makes [research] particularly easy in terms of infrastructure," he says.