Why This Invasive Iguana Is Bad for Puerto Rico
“Over the past few years, Puerto Rico has been dealing with an exploding iguana population. Originally brought to the island as pets, the lizards now outnumber people and are wreaking havoc on agriculture, infrastructure, and even air traffic, causing millions of dollars in damages. Since the reptiles have no natural predators in Puerto Rico to control the population, conservationists are seeking alternative ways of combating the problem. “ National Geographic
Puerto Rico has a massive iguana problem. These reptiles cause destruction on a scale of millions of dollars a year. From collapsing roads, buildings, airstrips, pools and just about every man-made structure with their cavernous egg dens. They are also destroying agriculture and consuming resources other, smaller native lizards need to survive. The island’s iguana population is a very real danger to the economy and ecosystem of the island. To the fruit farmer, iguanas can mean the loss of their whole crop. They consume fruit and the flowering blossoms that produce the fruit. Disaster can come from even a single iguana in a tree, as fruit damaged by a lizard’s tail is unable to be sold at market. They are found on the entire island, and provided with ideal habitat and climate, and lack of a natural predator to keep them under control, iguanas are poised to call Puerto Rico home indefinitely.