Exotic 4-Foot Lizards are now invading Florida according to a blog post from Paul Shin via the ABC news blog post from today, February 26th 2014 at 6:00 am. “The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has confirmed more than 100 sightings of the Tegu lizard throughout Hillsborough County Exotic lizards” They are from South America, but they are now making southwest Florida their new home. This happens when people purchase them as pets legally and later on when they are tired of them decide to releases them into the wild. According to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), they are breeding quickly laying 25 to 50 eggs at a time. The Tegu are currently devastating native wildlife in Florida!
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is currently working with other agencies and organizations to assess the threat of this species and develop management strategies. For more information on the Tegu Lizard, one option is to go to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission website and enter the term Tegu in the search box. We tried and found that there are no regulatory information regarding this species at this time.
However, if you want to get more information regarding the problem of invasive species in general the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service will be worth exploring. Just add “invasive species” in their search box and make selections from there.
We decided to check whether the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has added Tegu lizard as an invasive species, or whether there currently are any proposed regulations that deals with the Tegus problem in Florida. Our search for “Tegu Lizard” in the advanced search option in FDsys via the Federal Register did not display any proposed regulations at this time. However, it is just a matter of time until regulations will be in place.
Hattip to our colleague Hyla Bondareff for alerting us today that it is not just pythons that are feasting in Florida.
Mark Kloempken and Tove Klovning