Monday, April 17, 2006

Iguanas in Fla - Environmental Disaster or Tourism Triumph?

Introduced iguanas (Iguana and Ctenosaura spp.) have been a recognized problem in Florida for several years now, but as this article at Yahoo! News points out, public awareness is apparently just reaching its peak. Now that Lee County is poised to begin taxing residents in Boca Grande to pay for iguana research and control, everyone has got something bad to say about the flower-eating, disease-spreading, feces-dropping reptiles. No one is exactly sure why the problem is especially severe on Gasparilla Island (the location of Boca Grande), where Bostonians like Michael Mavilia go iguana fishing with real rods and fake worms (as if people from New England needed any more press to convince the rest of the U.S. we're a little nutty).

This commentary in the Boca Beacon points out that interest in the iguanas is potentially translating into tourism dollars. If that's the case, maybe they should be taxing visitors, not residents. Target practice, anyone?

Thanks to Allan I. for sending in a link to the story.

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