Friday, July 12, 2019

WANTED, Iguanas on the run

This past week the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission issued a statement encouraging homeowners in South Florida to kill any green Iguana they find in their property.  I find this statement from a state agency responsible for wildlife conservation and law enforcement a bit disturbing.  We all agree that iguanas do not belong in Florida, the reason we have a problem with these exotics reptiles is because of the negligence of pet owners releasing them into the wild when they get too big to handle.  Iguanas are thriving in our sub-tropical climate; they have no natural enemies and plenty of food to eat, to the detriment of our gardens.
I never have seen an Iguana in my garden, but I know someone who has been dealing with this problem for years, my friend tells me that they are worse than even deer and he has experienced with both.  I have no problem with the proper removal of these animals from our state by licensed trappers, as they do with Python in the Everglades, but giving homeowners carte blanche to kill iguanas in their yards opens the question, how do we humanly kill these animals.  Florida has laws against cruelty to animals, the same laws that are supposed to be enforced by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission.   

This large iguana was camouflage in the mangroves of the Florida Keys, it almost dropped on my head while I was taking nature pictures.  

We have a serious problem with invasive species in South Florida, whether they are Iguanas, Python in the Everglades or Kingfish in Biscayne National Park, they all can be trace to one source, the legal importation of exotic animals.  Why don’t we have laws against the importation of any non-native species.  We have experienced the devastating consequences of this animal trade; it is time to put an end to it.

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