Almost a year ago I wrote a story “Discovering the Critters in My Backyard.” It is about the famous “Burrowing Owl,” the official bird of the city of Cape Coral in Florida, USA. I now live in a new place in Cape Coral which is adjacent to a canal and a new critter has now shown up.
There are many canals in this community and in them one can routinely see fish jumping and occasionally a larger creature such as a Manatee! Two days ago I discovered a Green Iguana sunning himself on the seawall in my backyard outside the screened pool area.
This story is about the Iguanas which are now found throughout Southwest Florida.
Iguanas are ugly lizards that look like they belong in another era. And for many in Florida, they wish they were gone. They are destructive and are rapidly growing in numbers.
The Green Iguanas look prehistoric and they are an invasive critter overtaking other creatures that are native to Southwest Florida. Originally from Central and South America, they find the Sunshine State appealing and are growing in numbers. They are so numerous that they have been known to invade human homes! Homeowners are encouraged by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to kill them!
I get along with the one in my backyard. But he is obviously frightened by me. I have been told of people capturing them, turning them over to Fish and Wildlife for disposal, or shooting them with pellet rifles. Southwest Florida isn’t cold but there are a few days each Winter when it gets chilly enough that Iguanas drop from the trees! That will be in the news and I can hardly wait to witness that occurring!
Several years ago I saw many black and yellow Iguanas in the Galapagos Islands. I have inserted a few photos to give you an idea of what they look like close up. I also include a photo of a bird that captured a baby Iguana for lunch!