Friday, 29 December 2017

Florida Moves to Control Booming Iguana Population - via Herp Digest

Miami,, Fl, December 16, 2017, Voice of America/AP 

With burrowing iguanas showing up in people's toilets and damaging expensive sewer lines, Florida wildlife managers are stepping up efforts to control the state's booming population of the wild, invasive reptiles.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has hired a trapper to try to control the iguana population on public land in the Florida Keys. It is also holding workshops to teach homeowners how to trap and ward off the reptiles, The Miami Herald reports .

A green iguana checks out the flowers on a Bougainvillea plant in Hollywood, Fla. The invasive reptiles eat mostly leaves, flowers and fruit, and they are prolific in South Florida.

While the iguanas have been in Florida since the 1960s, FWC exotic species coordinator Kristin Sommers said there has been a noted increase in "human conflicts.”

Iguanas have been damaging roads and showing up in shopping malls, and they are a common sight on golf courses. 

In the Keys, the animals damage natural areas and consume plants important to dwindling species like butterflies. They also threatened a new billion-dollar sewage line.

Iguanas also can spread salmonella by defecating in people's swimming pools.