FWC's decision to encourage killing green Iguanas

Q&A of the Day – FWC’s decision to encourage killing green Iguanas

Each day I’ll feature a listener question that’s been submitted by one of these methods. 

Email: brianmudd@iheartmedia.com

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Today’s entry... 

Yay!! These are getting bad. See them along all the canals now.

How do they suggest we kill them?

Bottom Line: Last week the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission took a new stance on green iguanas. If you see them, kill them- with a few caveats. We’ve all seen the proliferation of them over the years in South Florida. Now they’ve reached the point of becoming more than just a nuisance according to the state. From FWC, here’s the status of green iguanas:

  • Green iguanas are not native to Florida and are considered to bean invasive species due to the damage they can cause to seawalls, sidewalks, and landscape plants.

I knew about the plants but the seawalls and sidewalk damage is interesting new information (they burrow in and under them). At least to me. So, about today’s question. How do we kill them? According to the FWC here’s the first thing to know:

  • This species is not protected in Florida expect by anti-cruelty law

Florida’s anti-cruelty law has a lot to it but it’s mostly logical. If you torment or torture the creature as a means of killing it – you're breaking the law. If you’re responsible in killing efficiently, you’re not. As FWC points out, because it’s an invasive species there isn’t any permit required to kill them. In fact, here’s the exact guidance provided by FWC on iguanas...

  • FWC encourages homeowners to kill green iguanas on their own property whenever possible.

That’s the policy change from last week. The one thing you do need to know is that killing them on public grounds could be a problem. There are 22 public land areas where it’s ok, but you’d better check FWC’s guidance if you intend to take them out on public property. But still, back to the question... How should you go about trying to kill them? There are two ways. 

  • Trapping

If you trap iguanas and call animal control, they can euthanize them

  • Killing

Ok, this is the tricky & sticky part. Remember the cruelty thing? If you attempt to kill an iguana yourself, you have to be efficient in doing so. While the law is somewhat subjective, meaning that if you were charged it’d be up to a judge to determine the outcome based on circumstance, there’s a clear legal way if you’re precise. Decapitation or the use of an air-riffle (if legal in your municipality/HOA - POA). I don’t want to be descriptive but think of the eliminating of a dangerous snake. Similar situation applies. Our only other hope is for another South Florida freeze this winter. 

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