Do You Think the Florida Keys Has an Iguana Problem? Poll
In less than three weeks, state and federal officials have trapped and removed 65 iguanas at Bahia Honda State Park in an attempt to keep the reptiles from decimating a species of vine critical to the endangered Miami blue butterfly. U.S. Department of Agriculture workers who did the trapping for the state have left for a month, but they are leaving traps behind for the Florida Park Service to use, said Ricardo Zambrano, a regional biologist with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. “This is going to be ongoing,” Zambrano said. “I don’t think [the recent effort] is going to completely eradicate them.”
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Below are some wildlife problems others are dealing with.
The Komodo Dragon lives on several islands in Indonesia. Komodo dragons have shark-like teeth and poisonous venom that can kill a person within hours of a bite. Yet villagers who have lived for generations alongside the world’s largest lizard were not afraid — until the dragons started to attack. Komodo dragon attacks are still rare, experts note. But fear is swirling through the fishing villages, along with questions on how best to live with the dragons in the future.
They can reach speeds of up to 18 miles (nearly 30 kilometers) per hour, their legs winding around their low, square shoulders like egg beaters. Three people have been killed in this decade (2009, 2007 and 2000) and at least eight injured in just over a decade. But park officials say these numbers aren’t overly alarming given the steady stream of tourists and the 4,000 people who live in their midst. People have since asked for a 6-foot-high (2-meter) concrete wall to be built around their villages, but that idea, too, has been rejected. The head of the park, Tamen Sitorus, said: “It’s a strange request. You can’t build a fence like that inside a national park!”
In California The Dept. of Fish & Game offers this information and these tips. More than half of California is mountain lion habitat. Mountain lions generally exist wherever deer are found. They are solitary and elusive, and their nature is to avoid humans. Mountain lions prefer deer but, if allowed, they also eat pets and livestock. In extremely rare cases, even people have fallen prey to mountain lions.
- Don’t feed deer; it is illegal in California and it will attract mountain lions.
- Deer-proof your landscaping by avoiding plants that deer like to eat. For tips, request a Gardener’s Guide to Preventing Deer Damage from DFG offices.
- Trim brush to reduce hiding places for mountain lions.
- Don’t leave small children or pets outside unattended.
- Install motion-sensitive lighting around the house.
- Provide sturdy, covered shelters for sheep, goats, and other vulnerable animals.
- Don’t allow pets outside when mountain lions are most active—dawn, dusk, and at night.
- Bring pet food inside to avoid attracting raccoons, opossums and other potential mountain lion prey.
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