Living in Minnesota and Colorado for most of my adult life I wasn't accustomed to seeing lizards very often. As a matter of fact that last one I saw was on a 4x4 trail in Moab, Utah and that's about it. Now I have to be a bit careful leaving my place so that I don't step on an anole which are extremely common. It took quite a while before seeing an iguana even though they're pretty common, invasive and damaging, but still interesting to see.

South Florida is home to many invasive species and while a very few aren't a problem, most have some negative consequences as do the iguana. Their populations are multiplying, causing internet, phone and power outages, damaging landscapes, levees, seawalls, roofs and patios, and contaminating swimming pools. For anyone not familiar with these reptiles they aren't small by any measure, males can grow to over five feet in length and weigh up to 17 pounds while females can also reach five feet in length but usually weight less than seven pounds.

Initially the FWC came out with a statement encouraging the public to kill any iguana on their property but that, understandably, didn't go over well with the residents. They amended that to:

"Green iguanas are not protected in Florida except by anti-cruelty laws and can be humanely killed on private property year-round with landowner permission. The FWC encourages removal of green iguanas from private properties by landowners. Members of the public may also remove and kill iguanas from 22 FWC managed public lands without a license or permit under Executive Order 17-11. Captured iguanas cannot be relocated and released at other locations in Florida. Homeowners that trap iguanas on their property may be able to obtain euthanasia services from local exotic veterinarians, humane societies or animal control offices depending on the location and availability of services. If you are not capable of safely removing iguanas from your property, please seek assistance from a professional nuisance wildlife trapper."(|

While I'm not a supporter of invasive species of any kind I was glad to see the FWC change their stance to the more reasonable position. I also have to admit I think they are quite interesting to see.

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