Florida has a major problem with invasive species establishing homes in Southern Florida. The tropical climate is ideal for snakes and lizards from other countries to thriving. This has resulted in pythons taking over the everglades and Iguanas taking over people’s yards.
Invasive species have become the biggest challenge for wildlife officials in Florida over the last decade. This problem has been caused by pet owners not taking care of their pets and releasing them. With no predators to kill these snakes and lizards, the populations explode quickly.
Florida residents are now dealing with invasive Argentine tegus. The Lizard can reach 5 feet long and is known for eating the eggs of native species and ground-nesting birds. Tegus have been documented eating the eggs of sea turtles as well.
The Tegus is now being reported in states across the southern United States. The Lizard has established a large population in the Florida Everglades but only recently started popping up in Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, Louisiana, and Texas.
The animal is described as docile and intelligent, but they will eat any fruit, vegetable, egg, or small animal it can get their hands on. Tegu is not a threat to humans, but they are a major threat to Florida’s native species.
Since these lizards are a nonnative species, they can be hunted year-round without a permit in Florida. My friend Gregory Morris is a professional python hunter in the Everglades that informed me they are a problem, and some of his friends are actively working on trapping them.