Florida Residents Were Advised to Kill Iguanas

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Florida residents have been advised that it's now open season on the invasive green iguana population, that has grown out of the control of authorities and requires they be killed “whenever possible.”

Florida Residents Were Advised to Kill Iguanas

Florida residents have been advised that it's now open season on the invasive green iguana population, that has grown out of the control of authorities and requires they be killed “whenever possible.”


Experts say that the lizards—native to Central America, tropical parts of South America, as well as the eastern Caribbean islands—are reproducing at a rapid rate due to the hot year. Female iguanas can lay around 80 eggs per year, and the hardy creature measuring approximately five feet can live up to about a decade in the wild.


Green iguanas are thought to be an invasive species due to the damage they can cause to sidewalks, seawalls, and landscape plants, which they enjoy burrowing under and leaving dropping on. The iguana can also present a threat to residential and commercial landscape vegetation, as well as an endangered native species of tree snail.


The iguanas reside in burrows, culverts, drainage pipes and debris or rock piles. South Florida’s system of human-made canals have also served as “ideal dispersal corridors to further allow iguanas to colonize new areas,” as the commission noted.


Green iguanas were first reported in Florida in the '60s along Miami-Dade County’s southeastern coast, and authorities say many have been brought to Florida as pets or were stow-aways on ships. In hot and humid Florida, this reptile has flourished.


The Burmese python, another invasive species, has also been wreaking havoc in the state’s Everglades as it has no natural predators and a voracious appetite for almost anything, as the Associated Press reports.


Changing climate conditions across the planet have recently tipped the balance in favor of invasive species by removing the natural environmental limits on particular creatures. Warming temperatures, as well as humidity, have opened up the ability of foreign flora and fauna to colonize new territories which were previously inclement to species that thrive in hot and moist climates.


According to a study, alien species—those that aren't endemic or native to a particular environment—have been a primary driver of extinctions affecting both plants and animals around the world.


Extinction is a natural phenomenon which has historically happened at a natural rate of about one to five species per year. However, conservationists and scientists have warned that the planet is now experiencing the sixth mass extinction of plants and animals in the past half-billion years, with phenomena caused by human economic activity—like climate change and the introduction of alien species—driving most mass die-offs.


According to current estimates, the planet is losing anywhere from 1,000 to 10,000 times the species than would occur at the natural “background” rate, with up to dozens of species meeting their final demise each day.

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Thinking Humanity: Florida Residents Were Advised to Kill Iguanas
Florida Residents Were Advised to Kill Iguanas
Florida residents have been advised that it's now open season on the invasive green iguana population, that has grown out of the control of authorities and requires they be killed “whenever possible.”
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