The lack of information on caring for my own iguana spurred me to spend more than six years trying to fill my head with answers to all my iguana questions.
Fired by fanaticism, I began by sending inquiries to more than 60 herpetological (reptile and amphibian) societies in the United States, and I joined three of them. Over the six-year period, I sent out almost 1,000 questionnaires directly to iguana owners, as well as questionnaires to veterinarians, pet stores, wholesalers, and zoos. In many cases I talked directly with manufacturers of products used for iguanas.
I attended international herpetological seminars and conferences, read scientific publications and trade journals, and did follow-up research at leading colleges and universities. I even attended a seminar for veterinarians on iguana medicine and surgery. I talked with recognized experts in a range of iguana-related fields, including state, federal, and international wildlife agencies.
I looked at hundreds of pet iguanas, plus I kept a detailed and exacting daily log book on my own pet iguana, Za.
My research also took me to the jungles in Mexico and Central and South America many times. One summer, the Jalapa Ecology Institute near Veracruz, Mexico, invited me to work with them on an iguana egg research project. Another invitation came from the Director of the School of Veterinary Medicine and Zoology in Oaxaca, Mexico, to study iguanas on the coast with one of the school's researchers.
This book is a compilation of all the information sources in which I've immersed myself for these years. In the end, I discovered that if you bend over backwards, jump through hoops of fire, follow all your leads, never give up, and let one desire drive you like a laser beam to your goal, eventually you get answers.
This book is finished but I still continue to learn more about Iguana iguana. Every year I go for 1-2 months someplace in Latin America to study green iguanas in the wild; sometimes by myself and sometimes with local iguana researchers.
For example, a couple of years ago I spent two months in the jungles of South America (photos of South American iguanas were added to the 3rd printing of my book). And two years ago I spent almost two months in Panama and Costa Rica learning about new possible foods for iguanas and some more breeding information.
Any new and exciting information will be included in future repritings of my book or in the ULTIMATE iguana newsletter, sent to all those who have a copy of my book and who are on the Dunthorpe Press newsletter mailing list. No other iguana pet care book goes to this much trouble and expense to keep its information current and up-to-date.