Thursday, 11 July 2019

Florida residents urged to kill iguanas ‘whenever possible’



Non-native species has begun to flourish in state’s warm climate and is causing damage
Associated Press
Thu 4 Jul 2019 09.49 BSTLast modified on Thu 4 Jul 2019 14.47 BST
Non-native iguanas are multiplying so rapidly in south Florida that a state wildlife agency is now encouraging people to kill them.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said people should exterminate the lizards on their properties as well as on 22 areas of public land. It did not say how civilians should try to kill them.
“Homeowners do not need a permit to kill iguanas on their own property, and the FWC encourages homeowners to kill green iguanas on their own property whenever possible,” the agency said.
Iguanas are not dangerous or aggressive to humans but they can dig lengthy tunnels, damaging pavements and building foundations. They can sometimes carry salmonella bacteria.
Males can grow to at least 5ft (1.5 metres) long and weigh 9kg (20lb), and females can lay nearly 80 eggs a year.
“Some green iguanas cause damage to infrastructure by digging burrows that erode and collapse sidewalks, foundations, seawalls, berms and canal banks,” the wildlife commission said. “Green iguanas may also leave droppings on docks, moored boats, seawalls, porches, decks, pool platforms and inside swimming pools.”
Iguanas are native to Central America, tropical parts of South America and some Caribbean islands. They were brought to Florida as pets or inadvertently on ships and have begun to flourish in the state, where the warm climate is perfect for them.
Some have been reported in northern parts of Florida, but their spread is more limited there as they do poorly in colder weather.
Another invasive species, the Burmese python, is wreaking havoc in the Everglades as they eat almost anything and have no natural predators in the US, except for the occasional alligator.



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