FWC clarifies message about killing invasive iguanas

FWC clarifies message about killing invasive iguanas

TreasureCoast,Fl- Florida wildlife officials are clarifying instructions to the public about killing non-native iguanas.

A Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission statement released Thursday says members of the public who are not capable of safely and humanely removing iguanas from their property should seek assistance from professionals.

An FWC news release earlier this month said people should exterminate the large green lizards on their properties.  They didn’t say how civilians should try to do that, and some took the message to mean that they should shoot the iguanas. 

Iguanas aren’t dangerous but can dig lengthy tunnels and damage seawalls, sidewalks and landscape foliage.

Here is what the FWC said:

FWC provides additional information on iguana removal

Green iguanas are an invasive species in Florida and are not native to our state. They can cause considerable damage to infrastructure, including seawalls and sidewalks. Iguanas, like all nonnative, invasive species, are not protected in Florida except by anti-cruelty law. While they cannot be relocated, they can be removed from private property with landowner permission.

“Unfortunately, the message has been conveyed that we are asking the public to just go out there and shoot them up. This is not what we are about; this is not the ‘wild west.’ If you are not capable of safely removing iguanas from your property, please seek assistance from professionals who do this for a living,” said FWC Commissioner Rodney Barreto.

Addressing the impacts of nonnative species is a priority in supporting conservation of our ecosystems. For those that need assistance, there are resources available on FWC’s website, including contact information for professional trappers.

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