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Invasive Iguanas Expected To Fall From Trees In Florida Due To Cold Temperatures

Green iguanas are expected to fall from trees in Florida as temperatures approach freezing, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) warned on Friday.

The nonnative iguanas become cold stunned and temporarily lose control of their muscles in cold temperatures, causing them to fall from trees and lie still on the ground, according to a FWC Facebook post.

“Don’t bring wild green iguanas into your home or your car – they can recover quickly in warm temps and use their long tails and sharp teeth & claws when defensive,” the post cautioned, saying that it is illegal to be in possession of the invasive species.

The FWC also explained that locals should avoid relocating the frozen iguanas, as it could harm native wildlife, but it says that they should instead consider humanely killing any green iguanas they encounter. The invasive animals have a negative impact on local wildlife as well as infrastructure due to their burrowing and digging, the post said.

Those unable to humanely kill or remove green iguanas from their property should call a wildlife trapper, the post explained, adding a link with further info.

The green iguana was added to Florida’s prohibited species list in April 2021. The animal, which typically weighs around seven pounds but can grow to up to five feet long and 17 pounds, is known to build long tunnels to protect its eggs, according to the FWC.

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