I met a monster today

OK, not quite a monster. This iguana was actually about 2ft long. He’s one of the growing population of unwanted pet iguanas released into the Florida Keys by their owners. They love the weather, the habitat and the food and their numbers have risen dramatically in the last few years as these one-time pets mate and reproduce.

Iguana, originally uploaded by Nature Watch Corfe Mullen.

Unfortunately the native wildlife is finding it hard to live with them as the iguanas munch their way through the local fruits, flowers, buds, leaves and young stems plus the occasional birds egg, insects and small vertebrates. On some Keys they are being rounded up and shipped out.

Don’t worry this photo has been “messed” with. They don’t actually have a ghostly glow around them but believe me that “don’t mess with me” look is oh so very real!


~ by Jane on April 24, 2009.

3 Responses to “I met a monster today”

  1. Now that really is competition for the Corfe Mullen glow-worms!

    Seriously, it’s such a shame that lots of people are only just waking up to the problems that can arise from introducing non-native species.

    • Those poor old glow-worms wouldn’t stand a chance against them! The introduction of non-natives is a BIG problem here what with terrapins, iguanas, rats, lizards… the poor old natives don’t stand a chance. They really need to get control of it SOON.

  2. That image is incredible! My wife and I are planning a holiday for next year to the Keys and booking through a UK Florida Keys villas tour operator. Through those guys we’re getting the flights and accomodation at Duck Key and then we’re hoping to book directly Tropical Inn at Key West. The trip is scheduled for Spring ’10.
    We’re big diving fans and new to fishing (so would like to take that activity in while on holiday). We do prefer non-motorised water activity as we hate to disturb the marine life. The Manatee image was spectacular – hope to see those on our trip. I have read about the investment into the nature trails which sounds like very good news. I’m hoping by visiting these blogs that I can learn plenty on where to go in the Keys to discover native wildlife (better get in there quick before the Lionfish eats up all the little fish – or so i heard.)

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