Iguana bounty chaos adds to challenges

| 25/08/2016 | 69 Comments
Cayman News Service

Green iguana’s sea escape attempt folied by cullers

(CNS): Fred Burton has described the recent green iguana cull experiments on Grand Cayman as “chaotic” and “discouraging”. The blue iguana expert, now working directly with the Department of the Environment on the invasive species project, said two of three professional hunters managed to kill 95% of the iguanas in target locations but within just two weeks the numbers were almost back to the previous level. And although the local bounty was effective, it was chaotic and put significant strain on the DoE resources, he said.

Speaking at the National Conservation Council meeting on Wednesday, Burton reviewed his recently published report and explained the numerous problems that the culls revealed and the size of  the challenge ahead to reverse the current growth trend of the invasive iguana, which now poses a serious environmental threat to Grand Cayman.

With some $350,000 in the kitty for this financial year, some of which will be spent on Cayman Brac trying to contain the emerging invasion there, Burton warned it was not enough to make much of a dent in the iguana numbers on Grand Cayman, as he pointed to the truly massive scale of the problem and the difficulties that emerged from the pilot studies in both the professional phase and the local bounty.

During a period of one week in June, the professional hunters using air-rifles worked three separate locations – Safehaven, Britannia and the Shores — and killed over 4,000 iguanas. Burton explained that the cullers at Safe Haven and Britannia were able to eradicate almost 95% of the iguanas during the week they worked, while the habitat and waterways at the Shores presented problems for the third hunter to collect the culled reptiles.

But within two weeks of that experimental cull, even at the successful locations, numbers were back at 85% of pre-cull levels as the iguanas “very rapidly re-invaded from adjacent land” onto the newly opened territory, which he described as “very discouraging”.

Burton said that the second phase, a week-long local bounty where 18 registered cullers were able to bring in over 14,000 dead iguanas, “was very effective”, but it was not only extremely chaotic, it involved almost every person at the DoE and pushed it to breaking point.

He spoke of the gruesome task of dealing with the animal carcasses, having to count them at the DoE and complaints from surrounding areas about the smell.

In his report he also recorded the inhumane treatment of iguanas that occurred because the registered bounty hunters did not effectively communicate the parameters of the test cull to those they enlisted to help them.

Burton stated in the report that “a growing number of unaffiliated persons sought to get involved”. He added, “By the end of the week, this led to some disorderly and even aggressive interactions with DoE’s counting staff.”

He explained that handling the carcasses was a mammoth undertaking. Given that this was just a fraction of the numbers that need to be culled, it is well beyond the limited resources of the DoE to handle the numbers of any future cull intended to make a real change to numbers.

“In the first year of a sufficiently resourced cull, a biomass of the order of 200 tons of iguana carcasses … will be generated and will have to be disposed of,” he wrote in the report, noting that it was clear during the June experiment that the incinerator capacity at the George Town landfill would be nowhere near sufficient to handle this kind of mass.

“While it is possible that some fraction of the cull may be taken for human consumption, we must expect that the vast majority will have to be received by and disposed of at the landfill facility. Arrangements may need to be developed with the Department of Environmental Health.”

Burton stressed the challenges that both professional hunters and a local bounty presented going forward. He said that having professional hunters roaming the island using air rifles on private land presents obvious safety problems and the challenges of counting dead reptiles for a local bounty brings its own set of difficulties.

There are also considerations to ensure that carcasses are dealt with appropriately and not left where they were killed.

Although Burton told the NCC meeting that he has begun “sketching out a plan”, it still needs work and he warned that the demand on DoE staff time required by the experiments was unsustainable, as it diverted them from a wide range of primary duties.

“The department cannot … envisage operating a larger scale operation of that kind with existing resources,” he said, adding that the cost of the operation in financial terms was also higher than DoE staff and management feels is ideal.

While one of the professional hunters was successful enough in the numbers he killed to average a cost of $3 per iguana based on his contract rate, the local bounty hunters cost much more than the $5 per iguana they were paid as a result of the massive diversion of resources the short cull had on the DoE.

Burton pointed to what he called a “honey-pot approach” as a possible solution. This would involve a concentrated continuous cull on set locations such as Safehaven as the iguanas will continue to move into the space created.

“A network of appropriately spaced honeypot areas could effectively clear iguanas from a much larger area,” he said. “If honeypot culling was conducted as a sequence of culling contracts in the specified area, repeated at appropriate intervals, the honeypot area would act as a population trap, drawing in and removing iguanas from surrounding areas, for as long as the effort continued.”

This approach could work without the need for counting, he noted. Instead, the cullers could be contracted on performance incentives based on before-and-after population surveys, as the DoE has solid survey information. He pointed out that resources saved on counting could be redirected to more surveying, which would be less of a strain on public resources.

See Burton’s full report on the CNS Library

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Category: Land Habitat, Science & Nature

Comments (69)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Perhaps composting would be a more viable way of disposing of the carcasses. “Roadkill “compost has become very effective in certain US states and has the added benefit of nutrient rich soil amendments which could be distributed to the farmers affected by these pests.

  2. Cracking a nut says:

    Maybe we should try this…Seemed to work for goats on Galapagos Islands.


  3. Anonymous says:

    maybe just target females?

  4. Anonymous says:

    People are complaining about the smell of dead iguanas and DEH resources are being stretched at the dump to dispose of them, would it be wrong if we used a boat and took the culled inguanas six miles off shore and disposed of them in the ocean ?

    Who and what would effected by this?

  5. MM says:

    First of all – any person on the street could have estimated that within 7 days you could capture more than 10,000 iguanas. Why is the DEH surprised that this report is disappointing?

    If they know their budget is X and they know there are over 600,000 iguanas on the loose; and as an “iguana expert” they should understand that these things would have quickly reproduced even after the $70,000+ payout to the iggy hunters.

    This is all just another fine example of how Government likes to call in the “experts” for “policy advice” get reports done that show very firm and obvious observances (that any citizen would have openly and freely pointed out) but here we go as a country sucking up millions of dollars a year in “policy advice” expenses to get more and more useless reports saying either foolishness or things a leader should have already known without having to pay someone else to tell them!

    What a mess we are in around here. It is unbelievable.

  6. Anonymous says:

    There is a reason there or so many Iguanas now that it can not be stopped. There is a reason that there was never a chance that it would be under control. Same reason that the Dump problem will never be fixed. There is a reason that Cayman Islands is so dysfunctional and can not be “fixed”. Any culture that glorifies ignorance is doomed to fail for all the right reasons.

  7. Just Commentin' says:

    This article raises several questions that I hope will be followed up on:

    I am wondering if the culling complied with all the relevant provisions set forth in the Firearms Law?

    Air guns are defined as firearms in the Firearms Law. Possession and use would require one of several forms of a permit and carrying, use and discharge of same would have to comply with the provisions of the Law.

    Did the cullers have the proper firearms permits?

    In particular, note that: “No person shall discharge any firearm on or within (120 feet) of any public road or in any public place except: (a) in the lawful protection of his person or property or of the person or property of some other person; (b) under the direction of some civil or military authority authorised to give such discharge; or, (c) with the permission of the Governor.”

    Did the cullers comply with all the provisions of the Law?

    Did the cullers operate on any private land and if so did they have proper authority or permissions to do so?

    Inhumane treatment of an animal is an offense under the Animals Law. Being a former gun user and enthusiast of many years myself, I have serious misgivings that an “air gun” would have sufficient killing power to humanely kill anything but a quite small iguana without either a very accurate hit in one of the animals kill spots and at fairly close range, or would require repeated hits which would be impossible with a fleeing wounded animal retreating into the bush.

    How many of these reptiles were wounded and fled [and could still be suffering] to achieve the kill numbers mentioned?

    Were the cullers possessed of or given any markmanship training? [If not, I should expect a very very high rate of non-lethal wounding. Sad if so.]

    Were the cullers possessed of or given any firearms training at all? [If not, it is appallingly irresponsible for the DOE to allow untrained newbees loose in public with a weapon.]

    Does anyone have any fact-based answers to these questions? Contravention of the Firearms Law is a serious matter. Inhumane treatment of a living feeling creature is also a serious matter. I am really interested in seeing the answers to these questions.

    • Anonymous says:

      No we don’t have answers, we just want the f***ing iguanas gone. So get a life and stop being so nit picking.

    • Anonymous says:

      What a pile of drivel. You sound bitter that you weren’t included in the group of registered culling persons.

      Those who possessed an air rifle each hold a firearms license. I know, because I am one who does.

      The air guns of today are not of your Daisy Red Ryder that you grew up with. Today’s air guns amongst many others are classified as hunting air guns. Meaning, they are extremely capable of dispatching large game as well as pesky Igauna.

      You make remarks of irresponsibility, yet your remarks reek of irresponsibility. While I cannot speak for others, I myself have had many, many years of firearms exposure with both powder burning, and air propelled guns, and continue to do so…. Safely.

      To say that you expect there were many woundings and Igauna that may have escaped any may still be alive… I highly doubt it. Familiarize yourself with the would channel created by a 6.35 mm lead pellet designed to quickly and humanely dispatch large game. One knock on the noggin… Lights out.

      I know many of the users of these airguns, and while I cannot speak for all, those I can speak for abide by the law and conditions set forth by the Firearms Law. Those individuals are all competent and safe users of their respective guns.

      Permission to,shoot, hunt, cull, eradicate the iguana on private land was obtained by each individual. I know this because I obtained mine as well.

      • Just Commentin' says:

        Wow, I got an answer to some of my questions! Albeit kinda cheeky. I was hoping for a more official source with a degree of cred.

        The background to my drivel: Most likely I was in the woods with my daddy and guns before you were in diapers (shooting real guns, not 1/4″ bore 650 fps toys), so going around playing Big Game Hunter while carrying a pea shooter to bag lizards isn’t exactly a gig I could be “bitter” about missing. But you would not have known that…now you do. Ok…I’ll admit, if they were gonna give me an aught-six with a scope, and maybe throw in two good blueticks for bush tracking and recovery, kick in a case of Bud for after the hunt, and maybe add some blonde babes in Daisy Dukes to greet us returning Nimrods… well… mayyybe I would feel kinda bad about missin’ that sortie.

        The back-story to your drivel: Good try, dude, but you cherry-picked the answers I was seeking and even then what you offer is disappointing. No credible reply about wound-to-kill ratios? Being a gun expert, you must agree that one would have to be a Borg with an on-board targeting processor implanted in the brain to shoot and kill 100% of the targets. Nah, not even then. Not even a for-real professional hunter with a well-collimated scope, spotter, and hollow point ammo or even .950 big J’s, would get a 100% kill/recovery rate. [Also think of the potential problems a varying trajectory curve throws in]. You are implying that none of the lizards ran away to suffer. Dude…THAT really IS drivel. No hunter would buy that BS. All clear shots? No branches? None of the animals moved at the moment of, or just before, trigger pull? All shots made at the peak of the power profile of the rifle? No shots made with low tank pressure? The “One knock on the noggin” as you put it, proves more elusive than your simplistic statement implies. All shots were perfect kill shots, eh? 100% recovery rate? Nope. Not even at their most booze-soaked moments of boasting would any hunter I know make that claim. And you say I uttered drivel?! My, my.

        Unless…yess…Duuude! You think maybe there were nuclear tips on those peas they were shooting? That might explain a 100% kill/recovery rate. Wow! Nuclear guns! Forget the chicas in Daisy Dukes…Now I AM bitter about missing the hunt!

        You evaded the question about culler training. What qualifies them as “professional hunters”. A “professional” in a field is usually taken to be one who derives their main livelihood from their profession. I was not aware that Cayman had that many “professional hunters”. Or did we import yet more foreigners to do a job that Caymanians could easily be trained to do? More questions. And: If any of these hunters were not Caymanian did they have the proper work permit status to be gainfully employed as a self-employed “hunter”? And: If these were “contracts”, did the hunters have proper insurance to indemnify Government against possible claims should someone be injured or killed in this ill-conceived venture? A claim could run in the $$millions and firearms accidents do happen. And you call me irresponsible?

        While a 6.35mm projectile may be “designed” to be a hunting load, actual killing efficiency depends on tissue damage and this is a function of energy delivered at target. Muzzle exit velocities can vary greatly depending on the gun design and tank pressure. Accuracy and lethal energy also depends on projectile design and mass. Air gun tank pressure decreases with each shot, so your 800 fps “killing machine” may turn into a spitball straw with a pitiful trajectory curve by the 10th shot. Too many variables to make blanket claims [but that didn’t stop you, now did it?] My take is that you may have “experience” with plinking targets, and “firearms exposure” [whatever that means] but I highly doubt you have a depth of knowledge derived from actually hunting for anything beyond your TV remote control.

        Lastly, your “I highly doubt it” statement is your own final kill-shot-in-the-foot. Those words betray that you really are just guessing and do not possess reliable info to answer the question. No cred. I am dismayed but…I still await answers.

      • Rodmon7 says:

        Anonymous, Would you contact me? I have Cayman connections & family on the roc, so I am concerned for our precious little emarald isle in the sea. I have experience culling vermin & would like to know how you obtained permission to: shoot, hunt, cull, eradicate the iguana on private land. XXXX

        CNS: I haven’t posted your phone number because I think first you should find out what’s legal and what’s not from the DoE, who might also be interested in any ideas you might have. Our ‘Ask Auntie’ column on CNS Local Life has dealt with one green iguana question (New plan to get rid of the green iguana) and you could put another to her if you’d like her to follow up instead of asking the authorities directly. The contact information for the DoE is on their website.

    • Kadafe says:

      Question for you, with all due respect to your experience as a firearm user, where did you get the idea that the cullers shot the iguanas? The picture for the article shows a man holding a captured iguana in a noose. Do you even know how iguanas are caught or did you just want to sound all knowing by reciting a few sentences from the firearms law?

      • Just Commentin' says:

        With no due respect to your level of literacy…
        Hint #1: Read the bloody article! You kinda-sorta missed this part: “During a period of one week in June, the professional hunters using air-rifles worked three separate locations – Safehaven, Britannia and the Shores — and killed over 4,000 iguanas.”

        Hint #2: Hey, Dude…CNS is not like your porn magazines, no quick gratification yah…you need to do more than just look at the pictures! OK?

        Summary: Putting my hints in practice might not make you sound all knowing like me, but at least you may avoid sounding like a moron.

        PS: Oh, hell! Indeed, you could be correct! So sorry! I made the mistake of assuming that the hunters SHOT the lizards. Silly me…perhaps I am not so all knowing after all! These hunters may well have used the air-rifles to club the buggers to death. Gee…I hadn’t thought of that! Thanks for making me read articles here more critically!

  8. Mean green killing machine says:

    16k tournament will be open to everyone and will attract many many more iguana hunters. So the 2/3 day kill count would eclipse the 2 week tally of a couple of select hunters. duhhhh

    • Anonymous says:

      If you look at the ‘open cull’ and ‘hunting’ results from the study yo’ll note that while more people kill more iguanas the iguanas per day and cost per iguana is about the same. But it costs more money to have more people do more work. So paying a $16K tournament to have a bunch of people run around killing iguanas is no more effective, and less efficient/economical than paying a few people on open-bid contract to kill iguanas. Tournaments are more fun, but they’re not better and more trouble to organize judging by the amount of work the fishing tournaments take.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Ok moron, from my hole, it is clear to see that the “scientists” screwed up royally! Regardless of your semantics about the actual numbers, the fact is the professions DO NOT know the actual numbers and aren’t even close with their estimates. Perhaps you’re one of those “scientists” who need help count iguanas accurately?!!

    The number of iguanas “counted” is irrelevant to the real issue of how many are really here. Perhaps 200,000 just along the West Bay road bushes and let’s not even mention all the mangrove fringes and canal edges along the North Sound!!

    Simply put, to my original point, we don’t have a clue because these same “scientists” failed to realize the problem and recommend effective solutions when it may have helped!!

    • Anonymous says:

      So you agree that you were wrong. But your’e still convinced that the people who did the actual count are wrong. And to prove it you’re going to call me mean names. With lots of exclamation points. – It will be interesting to see how many people agree with you, as an indication of how many people don’t want to let facts (like that you were wrong) get in the way of a good rant.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Why not just create some monster GMO iguanas that will breed with the females and kill them off? Oh wait…that sound too familiar.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Unfortunately, you need to create another government department like MRCU to deal with both the iguanas and chickens on a full time basis.

  12. Anonymous says:

    It would help dramatically to reduce the population of iguanas if DEH would offer culling classes to individuals how to catch, kill an iguana fast and effectively. It was done for the lions fish program and very well received.

  13. Dena Smith Paz says:

    Where did all these iguanas come from in the first place? I came home for a visit and I noticed those creatures every where. Certain parts of the island they were all up in the trees jumping down to the ground. It was awful! Anybody with any sense could see that the iguana population was out of control and that was 3 years ago.

  14. concerned as all have the right to live says:

    Why not bring all iguanas and chickens to Barkers, where they can roam free and be no harm to anybody. We have tourists going there looking for local wild life and there is none except rubbish, not a good tourist attraction for Grand Cayman.

    • Anonymous says:

      because they wouldn’t stay in Barcus and we’d then have to feed them as they’d quickly outstrip the natural food supply in the area. – And those are just the logical problems with your question. Leaving aside any concern for what that concentration of invasive species will do to any of the ‘natural’ wildlife in Barcus.

      If you’re so worried about Barcus a better solution sounds like organizing garbage collections, not overloading it with animals no one wants.

  15. Anonymous says:

    The truth of the matter is that many individuals out there would gladly kill the iguanas for free if given the permits for the air guns. The budget for culling is not sustainable and given the low number of cullers the population will replenish before they even make a dent. I’m pretty sure any individual that has planted a vegetable garden in Cayman would get apply for a permit and kill every iguana in there neighborhood for free.

    • Mokes-for-all says:

      I agree. In the UK, as long as you are over 18 you can own and use an airgun, and those under 18 can use one under supervision of an older person. As we are a UK overseas territory, why don’t the same laws apply here? The DoE is missing an opportunity to make money instead of spending it – they could sell annual iguana hunting licences. Cullers could either clip tails for proof of kills for record-keeping purposes, or fill out a simple culling report. Cullers could also be made to be responsible for destroying the carcasses – pile them up and burn them – and provide photographic proof of the same – everyone has a cellphone with a camera these days.

    • Anonymous says:

      You don’t need a permit. You are free to knock yourself out removing green iguanas already..

      • Diogenes says:

        But you cannot use an air rifle, slingshot, or even a bow and arrow to do it without a licence of the consent of the COP.

  16. Ricky says:

    I compare the recent the release of the GM mosqitous to reduce the Zika carrying mosquitos. Why can we complete a similar program with the iguanas? I believe the culling thing is a waste of money and time. People in cars would put more of a dent in the population than the current program

    • Anonymous says:

      Because the genetic modification process takes years of research and testing (and costs millions of dollars) so we’d have a ‘solution’ in about 2026. The solution they’re hinting at with these ‘tests’ is give us money for hunters now and the iguanas will be gone by 2026.

  17. Anonymous says:

    And air rifles should be made legal for law abiding citizens!

    • Anonymous says:

      i know, right. Air rifles. “this is a stick up” any tard looks at the barrel and sees the REALLY REALLLY small hole at the end of the barrel. Uhhhh. that’s an air rifle. Thief runs from bank.
      And that is worst case Senario.

      I am surprised they have not outlawed sling shots.

      Not even the UK bans air rifles. I don’t think any country in the world, besides cayman bans air rifles. That’s really extreme. And there is absolutely no benefit.

  18. Anonymous says:

    gm iguanas?

  19. michael24@gmail.com says:

    they will need to bio engineer the dam things out of here….or create a disease in a lab that kills only them

  20. Anonymous says:

    wow…looks like the civil service put the usual amount of long term thinking in to this programme……..zzzzzzzzzzzzz

    • Anonymous says:

      When the brakes should’ve been put on Pet Shops bringing in these nuisances they did nothing, now we have a hell of a problem. Government drags it feet and after the problem gets out of hand they act like they are trying to find a solution. Stop being reactive when you should be proactive from the very beginning.
      Engage your brain, see the problem and deal with it now, not later. Procrastination is the thief of time.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Can I suggest that “wild” chickens are added to the list of invasive species which will have to be dealt with?

    If you think I am joking – I am not! Since Ivan the free roaming chicken population has grown out of control and this is carrying a serious health hazard. Chicken poop is everywhere, which is especially worrisome in schoolyards, daycare center yards, public parks etc. where kids play in that dirt and eat off the tables chickens use to roost.

    I wonder what is gonna happen if there is ever an outbreak of some type of bird flu…how will this be brought under control with all those free roaming chickens?

    • Anonymous says:

      Round them up and chicken farm them at the prison. Eggs and home grown chicken.

    • Anonymous says:

      Eat them, duh? You’re going to wish you had them chickens to eat one day. I don’t understand people. Import antibiotic filled chickens to eat when there are perfectly fine chickens all over the place. Bird flu will be imported so stop importing chickens. Duh.

    • Anonymous says:

      I could not agree more. Here in the capital now know as Chicken Town we have thousands roaming everywhere raiding all the garbage awaiting collection, digging up gardens and crowing well before dawn.Feral chickens need to be given the same priority as iguanas.

  22. Anonymous says:

    why don’t you use the skins to make wallets, purses, key chains etc. You could start by training prisoners in Northward and anyone else that claims to be unemployed in skinning, tanning and crafting. Pretty good mark ups considering the abundance of supply in the country. At least they’d have a skill when they came out.


    • Anonymous says:

      why don’t you do it?

      • Anonymous says:

        I’m not Caymanian and don’t fancy giving up my time, effort, capital and expertise for a 40% share whilst someone has 60% share and a passport who would be wholly out of their depth. I know there are ways around the LCCL but I’ve figured out easier ways to earn cash that doesn’t involve business plans, immigration dept. breathing down your neck, restrictions on the employees you want to hire… etc….etc….

        • Diogenes says:

          Theres a whole bunch of people on public beach who have figured out a way around the LCCL, TBL, and employment restrictions too – they just ignore them!

  23. MM says:

    So, you mean to tell me that Government cannot hire four full-time cullers (8:30am to 4pm, Monday to Friday) at a salary of CI$3,000 per month to go about during the days in a government vehicle culling these Greenies as a day job?

    Let us not forget health insurance is paid 100% by gov for Civil Servants.

    That is $36,000 per annum salary x 4 full-time iggy cullers = $144,000 per year plus about $70,000 for vehicle and equipment maintenance and gas etc.

    I am sure there are 4 unemployed Caymanian men out there right now that would not mind scraping in $3k a month to drive about killing iguanas! They could also be responsible for seeking out nests and destroying eggs.

    Obviously we would require a working incinerator in order to properly dispose of the mounting dead iguana bodies. If they could manage 5,000 iggies per week, we would at least be consistently downing the numbers.

    • E&Y report reader. says:

      Leaders are trying to reduce the size of government, which is why the culling project is being outsourced.

      • MM says:

        What they say and what they do are always conflicting. If they want to reduce the size of Government they can start by reducing those 19 useless LA seats!

      • Anonymous says:

        Does the “size of government” reduction include the 31 criminally charged civil servants sitting at home receiving full pay?

        • Anonymous says:

          Innocent until proven guilty. – You meant to say innocent until proven guilty and so, given the political realities that you wouldn’t want people losing work over a mere accusation, unless you want to be able to to intimidate Civil Servants with an unprovable insinuation that unless your building is approved or you otherwise get your way they’ll be accused of wrongdoing and fired, still employed until they are proven guilty.

      • Anonymous says:

        Reduce the size of government?? They’ve just created 50, repeat 50, new government posts (free health and pension) for the Education Department.

        • Anonymous says:

          Those are needed. Education of our children are more important that criminally charged civil servants and MLAs who collect big salaries and pensions.

    • Iggy says:

      You see somewhere in your comments does not include that at $3k per month to each culler, the kick back would be very limited. Whilst the last program it was a free for all even for the dead iguanas prior to the commencement of the cull.

  24. a. skilpot says:

    It really is a pity that this search for a solution to the invasion of the green iguanas was not started sooner. I’m not blaming the DOE, for I know the onus rested with another department for quite some time. As difficult as it is, please don’t throw your hands up and say we can’t do it.
    I would like to suggest that the citizenry is so fed up and desperate that perhaps we can be of help and be included in the plan. Some persons might be willing to donate to a “culling fund”. Some might be willing to trap the pests. Maybe some of the dead carcasses can be taken some miles out to sea and ‘dropped off’ there.
    Whatever it takes, we need to go at the problem full bore. And it is a serious problem!

    • Anonymous says:

      The government that ready to change laws for others but not for the caymans, so that’s why we have the problem with the iguanas. Certain people feed them, because it was so in humane to kill them. They should be protected. Stop letting those people be or chart and compass.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Another idiotic idea to make some local idiot ‘hunter’ rich off the backs of the paying public. And you wonder why this country is bankrupt and a laughing stock.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Rather than a $ per head bounty, perhaps a $ per pound would be easier to manage. The cullers could just bring their harvest and dump them into a container that is sitting on scales and the before and after weight recorded.

    Way back when there was a bounty on agouti heads, that was appropriate because the farmers ate the rest of the animal. As soon as someone can make a profit from the culled iguanas there will be no need to pay a bounty.

    • Anonymous says:

      Problem is per pound is ‘easy’ to pad the weights with scrap metal or whatever tossed in with the carcasses. Not saying it would be done of course but the auditors among us would probably like to be able to prove it wasn’t done.

  27. Anonymous says:

    While the blame for importing these invasive pests can be placed on known people who intentionally released some of their imports into the wild some years ago, the DoE certainly did not help by underestimating the threat and their numbers.

    Just about a year ago DoE published an estimate of approximately 60,000 green iguanas island-wide – when that is more approximately the number just in the ponds near the Airport Park alone! Also factor in the myopic content of the Law which was written so vaguely as to protect all iguanas, not just indigenous Blues and Rock iguanas.

    Ultimately, like many other issues, our public agencies are culpable in the infestation of green iguanas. This situation serves as a great metaphor for our immigration and work permit policies which presently and continually promote a similar process of imports overtaking locals.

    • Anonymous says:

      1) There are not 60,000 green iguanas “just in the ponds near the Airport Park alone”.
      1b) “Researchers at the Department of Environment’s terrestrial unit have said that the number of invasive green iguanas increased from around 127,000 counted in August 2014 to more than 200,000 a year later, an increase of 59.8% and equal to a doubling of the population over 18 months.” – That’s from the CNS article of 03/12/2015. (The ‘tags’ at the bottom of CNS articles are great for finding old articles on the same topic.)

      So you’re off by an order of magnitude in all directions, including thinking the scientists can’t count better than you.

      2) The old law you’re complaining about – the Animals Law – predated the creation of the DoE by many years, IIRC.

      Please just stay in your hole and keeping your kvetching to yourself if, worse than not having anything useful to add, you are actually spreading disinformation.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Well, the ministry dragged its feet for years, not only in the culling of iguanas but other needed an important projects. What about the farm land? Another success of the same MInistry.

  29. Mean green killing machine says:

    The only way to deal with this problem is to set up culling tournaments just like they do for lionfish! Anything else is just wasting money.

    All you need to do is allocate 16k per tournament to be awarded as follows…

    $10,000.00 for the team (4 people per team) with the most kills, $5,000.00 for 2nd, and $1,000.00 for 3rd. And DoE needs to allow anyone and everyone to enter. Make the tournaments 2 or 3 days with kill counts by DoE officials at the end of each day. You could even charge teams $100.00 to enter and add that to the prize money.

    I bet we will see better value for money in terms of iguanas killed per dollar spent.

    • MM says:

      But they are already crying over the amount of manpower, time and funds it takes to count the iguanas – which to be fair is tedious work (and I would guess stinky and gross work too)

    • Anonymous says:

      Unless it costs me less than $10K to breed enough iguanas to win the $10K prize. – Go on, ‘prove’ I didn’t ‘hunt’ those iguanas. Not my fault you didn’t plan ahead and put all your fish in a barrel before shooting them. – Iguanas are not lionfish.

      By the way, if you look at the actual report you will discover that what they did with the hunters cost less per day than your tournament system ($16K prize money spent for 3 days of hunting vs $30K payments for two weeks of hunting; the ‘open bounty’ (similar to what you propose) was a little bit less cost effective but covered more area/iguanas/people)

      So, really, your way is not “the only way” and in fact might not be the most cost effective way. But it is the ‘best’ way to get a lot of people trespassing and otherwise chaotically catching iguanas. As the report notes. So maybe its a good thing they’re testing things out so that informed decisions can be made.

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