Officials are now urging homeowners to kill iguanas in Florida, after wreaking havoc on sidewalks, plants, and seawalls as record-breaking heat temperatures rise at the Sunshine State.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission advised the public through their website that green iguanas can now be “captured and killed on private property at any time with landowner permission.
Iguanas can also be killed without the need of a permit on 22 public lands in south Florida year-round.
“This species is not protected in Florida except by anti-cruelty law,” the website reads. “The FWC encourages homeowners to kill green iguanas on their own property whenever possible.”
This declaration follows an increase sighting of the large lizards, which have caused more problems for the residents, due to the rising heat temperatures. Wildlife experts also suggest that lack of predators in the city also allowed iguanas to thrive.
“They’re just getting their range up into counties north of Palm Beach, which I never thought they would,” Joe Wasilewski, a Florida-based conservation biologist who studied iguanas for the past 40 years, told Buzzfeed News. “As it’s getting warmer, these animals are doing better – they’re thriving.”
Green iguanas are native in Central America and in tropical parts of South America.
They are also considered invasive species as they can do a lot of damage. They often eat plants and dig long burrows that can damage sidewalks, seawalls and even foundations of homes. Not only that, but they could also transmit salmonella.
Iguanas are also considered a threat to native and endangered species as they sometimes consume snails or butterflies.