Florida is encouraging homeowners to kill green iguanas amid an unwanted population boom.
Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission issued a notice this week telling homeowners that no special permit is required “to kill iguanas on their own property, and the FWC encourages homeowners to kill green iguanas on their own property whenever possible.”
The green iguanas cause damage to seawalls, sidewalks and landscape plants, the FWC said.
Wildlife scientist Joseph Wasilewski of the University of Florida told ABC News that green iguanas “will destroy agriculture, undermine roads, cause electrical transformers to fail, they can transmit salmonella and can be an FAA safety hazard.”
The reptiles are native to Central and South America, having only appeared in Florida in the 1960s, according to the FWC. Cold weather kept the population in check, but rising temperatures have allowed the creatures to proliferate in Florida, the FWC said.
“It saddens me that all of these magnificent animals, along with multitudes of other invasive reptile species have to be put down,” Wasilewski said. “There is no alternative for the problems.”