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Green Iguanas (Iguana iguana): the unintended consequence of sound wildlife management practices in a South Florida park

Author(s): Walter E. Meshaka, Jr. | HENRY T. SMITH | ELIZABETH GOLDEN | JON A. MOORE3, | Stephanie Fitchett | Ernest M. Cowan | Richard M. Engeman | Stacey R. Sekscienski | Heather L. Cress

Journal: Herpetological Conservation and Biology
ISSN 1931-7603

Volume: 2;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 149;
Date: 2007;
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Keywords: exotic species | Iguana iguana | introduced species | invasive species | Procyon lotor | wildlife management

Abstract.—We examined the demographic response of the Green Iguana (Iguana iguana) to the removal of Raccoons in an urbanmaritime state park in southern Florida. The rapid growth of iguanas to sexual maturity in an underexploited, if not vacant,niche contributed to the rapid recruitment of a large and growing population during the four and one half years since removal ofits limiting predator. We proffer here that at sites where Green Iguanas and high density Raccoons are syntopic, future Raccoonremoval programs should be concurrent with an equally concerted effort to remove resident Green Iguanas. In this fashion, byreplacing one limiting predator with another, a population explosion can be prevented and an advantage can be maintained in thelocal control of this exotic species.
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