CHATTANOOGA TIMES FREE PRESS – Here I am again, flying to another adventure.
The first leg of this trip will be to the Fort Lauderdale, Florida, area. The air rifle company Gamo has initiated a little expedition here, and it is centered around invasive species in this area, namely the green iguana.
Iguanas, Larry? Really? You are going to be hunting iguanas? Well, yes, but hear me out.
In case you don’t know, southern Florida has become a mecca for invasive species of animals. An invasive species is usually thought to be one that is outside its home range, is usually introduced by humans and almost always causes harm to the environment, economics and health of humans.
Southern Florida is basically in the tropics, and many species can survive here with the warm temperatures.
There are miles of water here, including canals and lakes, and the invasive species thrive in this environment as they use the canals as water highways to travel, especially the fish and reptiles.
Reptiles are really at home here and thrive with all the water and lush vegetation. Two that have gotten a lot of attention in the past few years are the Burmese python and the green iguana, both of which have been released into the wild by the exotic pet trade.
The iguana has been here for many years, probably since the 1960s, but no one has ever seen these lizards in the numbers they have now.
The iguana is extremely destructive and digs massive tunnels in the earth, sometimes 80 feet long. (You do remember in the movie where Godzilla came from, right?)
This causes much destruction in canal walls and under bridges and buildings. Female iguanas lay large clutches of eggs, and they reproduce rapidly. All of this has resulted in a perfect storm for nuisance animal problems.
Iguanas are voracious eaters, and although they consume mainly vegetation, this will include many vegetable garden plants, flowers and ornamentals … READ MORE.
WANT TO GET PAID TO SHOOT IGUANAS AND OTHER INVASIVE SPECIES?
CHECK THESE INVASIVE SPECIES REMOVAL SERVICES and information sites … they may be hiring, or they may inspire you to launch your own pest removal business.
Iguana removal companies
- Field Identification of Select Native and Nonnative Reptiles in Florida
- Intruders in Paradise: Invasive Species in Florida a Teacher’s Guide
- Introduced Reptile Early Detection and Documentation Training
- The Cuban Treefrog in Florida
- Florida’s Introduced Birds
- Field Guide to the Nonindigenous Marine Fishes of Florida (USGS & NOAA)
- The Invader Updater – Resources
- Buyers’ Guide to Pet Reptiles
How to learn more about invasive species
- Florida Invaders: Under Siege by Plant and Animal Invaders
- The Invader Updater
- Invasive Species: A Florida Perspective
- Forest Health Guide for Georgia