Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Iggies Gone Wild!

John T. from Birds Etcetera sent in a link to this story about the invasive iguanas in Boca Grande, Florida. While the ISW has certainly posted about this topic before, the article has a couple of interesting parts that make it worth a read. First is the idea of a using "sustainable harvest" to keep populations of green iguanas (Iguana iguana) and black spiny-tailed iguanas (Ctenosaura spp.) in check. Magnum Reptiles is one trapping company that has committed to taking in wayward iggies and selling them as exotic pets to people in other parts of the country.

The other thing in the article that caught my eye is much more sinister. Another trapping company, Iguana Busters, appeared this past October on the local Florida news to demonstrate how the iguanas they captured are euthanized by placing the reptiles in a freezer. When the interview was rebroadcast on the Today Show, Iguana Busters received more than 100 death threats from irate animal lovers (read more here). Luckily, at least one of the animal-rights activists was sensible enough to have a real conversation with Iguana Busters, and they are working out a way to do what Magnum Reptiles offered: send captured iguanas to people willing to adopt them. NBC2 News has the scoop on the controversy and also a great video, don't miss it.


John L. Trapp said...

A well-written and in-depth assessment of the situation, Jennifer. Very nicely done!

Michael said...

What are the chances that "rehomed" iguanas will establish a new population somewhere else if they escape or are released? While it's nice to think that the captured individuals will live long and prosper in a new location, is this really a safe way to address the problem of invasive species?

Bird Advocate said...

It's unbelievable anyone has the gall to support a "sustainable harvest" of an invasive species! This is absolutely insane thinking.