banner ad

$2 bounty on iguanas in new cull plan

| 24/03/2017 | 68 Comments
Cayman News Service

Green iguana’s sea escape attempt foiled by cullers

(CNS): The next battle in the Department of Environment’s war on the invading green iguana will begin in May with a reduced bounty on their reptilian heads because of the significant numbers, officials have revealed. Efforts will begin to reduce the number of iguanas on Grand Cayman, which could be as much as one million, and curtail the newly spreading problem on Cayman Brac via a four-pronged attack. Fred Burton, who heads up the DoE’s Invasive Species Unit, has unveiled a plan for registered cullers and a raffle on Grand Cayman. On the Brac there will be a short sharp attack followed by biosecurity control for the Sister Islands.

The green iguana has become a massive threat to Cayman’s bio-diversity and conservation but finding an affordable and sustainable solution to cull it has proved challenging, given the DoE’s limited resources.

Burton told the National Conservation Council at its meeting Wednesday that an iguana manager is being recruited to start next month on a short-term contract to control a remote four-month project to tackle the pest during its breeding season. Registered cullers will earn $2 per dead green iguana and an open raffle with cash prizes will be introduced to encourage the entire community to get involved in the extermination programme.

Burton warned that the plan may need to be adapted in real-time but the aim is to support an emerging green iguana control industry and a much less gruesome counting element.

He explained that businesses and individuals with the relevant trade and business licences and lawful air-rifle licences will be eligible for culling contracts with the DoE, but the burden of legal compliance and safety as well as the proper disposal will be on the contractors. Burton said the cut in the bounty from $5 in last year’s pilot study may cause some grumbling but it was a much more realistic and sustainable figure. Burton said the “anchor” price needed to be low so it could be increased as the numbers fall and the culling becomes more challenging.

Counting iguanas for payment and recording for research purposes will be done remotely via photographic evidence using a verification system that will also be used for people wanting to take part in the raffles.

“An attempt to involve the community at large with the raffle has the potential to scale up culling operations considerably,” Burton told the NCC, as he said the culling business community alone would not reach the scale needed to make a significant impact on the population growth trajectory.

“Extensive community involvement could, if successful, reach the necessary scale,” he said, explaining that anyone living in the Cayman Islands would be able to register remotely and get a raffle ticket for every ten iguanas they cull based on valid photographic evidence and coding with indelible ‘sharpies’ on the dead iguanas.

“The more iguanas an individual culls, the more tickets they will receive,” he said. “At two-weekly intervals or monthly intervals, a ticket number will be randomly drawn …and the winner will receive the prize money.”

The iguanas will need to be counted for research purposes, so every contractor and every registered raffle participant will receive a unique short identity code. They will then clearly write the code on the iguana’s back, along with the accumulative number, then photograph the reptiles side by side and send the pictures into the DoE with dates. The photos will be used as evidence for payment or raffle tickets. Once marked, the iguanas cannot be claimed again.

The iguana manager will be tasked with counting the dead iguanas and creating the database, as well as checking duplication of claims in the images and helping participants keep track of their serial and cull numbers.

On Cayman Brac, where the greens are undergoing rapid growth in the Spot Bay area, Burton is proposing an intensive operation in late March using night searches with spotlights to locate and shoot the iguanas. Before this starts, the DoE will survey the numbers to assess the distribution on the Brac.

“This cull will be intended to bring the Spot Bay green iguana population down to a minimal level and also to knock down any other centres of population growth that are found,” Burton said.

After that, ongoing control and biosecurity measures will be essential to keep the numbers down. Burton said the invasive species policy and procedures under consideration by the NCC should lead to enforceable restrictions on owning, breeding and transporting green iguanas in the Cayman Islands.

Tags: , , ,

Category: Land Habitat, Science & Nature

Comments (68)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

    They should have Iguana fights like they do chickens Millions can be made on this I am sure the MLA’s from the districts can easily set this up on sundays just like the chicken fights




    0



    2
  2. ThIs WrItInG Is VeRy IrRiTaTiNg says:

    How long before some enterprising individual sets up shop on the waterfront to have tourists kill an iguana? A good location would be beside the guy charging $10 to hold an iguana and get your picture taken.

    Here’s the business plan.
    – catch iguanas
    – bring live iguanas to waterfront
    – charge tourists $10 to whack them over the head with a rock or chop off their head with a machete
    – write your registered culler number on them, take pictures, send pictures to DOE and collect another $2 for each one.




    0



    2
  3. Anonymous says:

    Can my cat “Lynx” counts as a participant? This thing I have catches at least 2 iguanas daily, we could be making some serious cash soon Lynxy.




    5



    0
  4. Anonymous says:

    What’s this about killing iguanas with an air rifle?
    An air rifle pellet will hurt but not kill an iguana, unless it hits a very tiny area in the head. Any body shot will only maim it at best.
    A shotgun or nothing!




    1



    6
    • Bullet says:

      Have to disagree with you there. High powered assault rifles are what is needed and a vote for Dennie can ensure their availability.




      3



      3
  5. Anonymous says:

    Government should loosen the gun laws so people can bring in air rifles.




    9



    5
  6. Anonymous says:

    If Green Iguanas cost $15-200 at exotic pet stores in the USA and Canada, shouldn’t we find a way to trap and export them to loving forever homes?




    22



    7
    • Anonymous says:

      That’s how this whole problem started in the first place. Not about to import it to another country…




      9



      2
    • Anonymous says:

      Go right ahead. If its such a great business the private sector should jump right on that.




      2



      0
    • Anonymous says:

      Pets are usually captive-bred so they are more tame and disease-free. You can’t guarantee either of those with wild iguana.




      0



      0
  7. Alison Booth says:

    Why kill them at all? Evil people they were doing ok on their own! Too f***ing quick too MURDER beautiful creatures! Last of the dinosaurs!




    6



    38
    • Nunya says:

      Alison – you can have them all in your back yard peeing and poohing all over the place and spreading salmonella. The situation is only going to get worse – these thing practically double in population each year and have no natural predators on island so they will continue to over populate.

      But rest easy – since then dig tunnels (often big ones) and live in the swamps there is no way we can catch them all. This is in fact a waste of Gov’t money and they need to find a better solution.

      Perhaps starting an export business is not a bad idea – someone should do that. Whoever whats to deal with the nasty creatures. ;( :p




      14



      1
  8. Mo Money says:

    Such a waste of the public purse money. Dear Mr. Burton and DOE please take a visit on the land in lower valley. Thousands of iguanas on this one particular parcel of land. not certain how your plans are to reduce or eradicate when you can’t even get to these critters. A simple question, say your hunters dispatch what they see on properties or roads they have access to. Won’t these ones in the bush keep multiplying and the young ones move into places where your hunters been? To me the plan seem like a Ponzi scheme that will eventually go bad. Why not follow other countries examples before wasting our money? I heard in hondoruas it is illegal to kill iguanas because they are endangered over there. How come? Why? I am certain it did not take $1 million dollars of tax payers money to do so.




    3



    5
  9. Anonymous says:

    I would happily shoot all the iguanas on my land if I had an air rifle. They need to be de-classified as a fire arm and a different kind of license issued.




    27



    2
  10. Iggy says:

    So if I catch one of these hunters on my property without my permission, what are my legal rights? Will the police come and lock them up and seize their guns or will they be slapped on the wrist? What about the dead iguana? Who has claim the land owner or trespassers?




    13



    2
    • RE says:

      Cullers are supposed to seek approval from land owners before hunting on any persons land. This is always (or should be) provided in writing.




      4



      0
  11. Anonymous says:

    Howmuch for the blue iguana




    3



    14
  12. Anonymous says:

    I’m going to buy me an air rifle, or a copy of Photoshop (whichever is cheaper) and get in on this.




    2



    1
  13. Anonymous says:

    I wish the Iguanas would eat the chickens (or the other way round) before the culling begins – then cull whatever’s left.




    15



    5
    • Unison says:

      hey, leave the chickens alone. If there should be war God forbid, and this island is cut off from the world, the many chickens will serve their purpose. We never know how world events may turn




      12



      7
      • Anonymous says:

        You have a point but in the meantime, they eat all your plants ….dig up the yard and shit on everything in sight – besides which… have you ever tried eating one??? My mother in law cooked one once – tough as old bullets …I guess if do a 1/2 day run-down you might be somewhere near… still any port in a storm I suppose !




        2



        0
  14. Anonymous says:

    they chasing the wind? those snapper boats will just bring more from swan island or guanaja?




    5



    1
  15. Anonymous says:

    I hope this doesn’t mean bounty hunters think they are entitled to swarm over peoples’ land without permission looking for iguanas.




    25



    4
  16. Anonymous says:

    Biggest worry here is that the proper disposal of the dead iguanas will be left to the contractors….how is this to work? I can already smell a pile of rotten Iguanas who will either be dumped into the sea or somewhere in the bush. Please rethink this step! I suggest there should be a collection area where they need to be dumped and then burned.

    Also – can we extend this program to wild chickens which wreck havoc on yards and create health issues with their poop on every picnic bench and table (including the ones in the school yards)?




    20



    5
    • Anonymous says:

      Also, can we expand the program to include uncontrolled development. Has anyone seen the destruction of the environment caused by these bulldozing humanoids in search of money for champagne and shiney things and mommy love?! Its appalling what they have done and the island is crawling with them!!!
      They destroy huge tracts of land so they can eat and poop on the very spots that were once beautiful creations of nature.




      20



      0
    • Anonymous says:

      Call the department of environment. They get rid of the chickens for free.




      1



      1
  17. Anonymous says:

    So if I got 40 a day I would make $80? What is the minimum wage?




    10



    1
  18. Anonymous says:

    A pay cut and now there is 1 million of them?




    4



    0
  19. Anonymous says:

    I wonder if the iguanas have access to the internet? they’re going to shit themselves when they read this.




    22



    1
  20. Anonymous says:

    Better not wipe them all out… The poaching 5th and 6th generation Caymanians will need something to eat after they’ve killed off all the conch, lobster and parrotfish.




    39



    10
  21. Unison says:

    Why must we adopt this archiac mentality that killing and dumping dead iguanas somewhere is a good solution???! ://

    What are we teaching our youth, folks??? Why don’t we just ship them off to a country that will be willing to buy them from us for food?
    I just hate killing something that can be use for food, fish bait, or even their skin can be used … and then we just throw their carnage out for waste. ://

    Government should explore these things




    26



    7
    • DA WA YA GET says:

      Government does not need to explore these things. Government needs to stay the hell out of the way of those who have the ambition to harness the potential and not regulate them out of existence with nonsensical red tape measures and ill conceived predilections because some supposed high and mighty wants to make any potential profits from any given operation themselves or some other ludicrous mentality. There is massive amounts of potential and/or workable and practical solutions which have already died a horrible death because of this most asinine of mentalities. That includes those who are standing in the way of and hindering one’s ability to legally harvest/cull the invasive lionfish by way of only allowing ‘certain favoured people’ to have the pole spears specifically for said purpose. Hand in hand with proper, even handed, waterborne and a 24/7 365 presence in and enforcement of our coastal waters is where the solution lays along with stopping the wanton destruction and outright poisoning of our estuaries and marine ecosystems, ancestral fishing grounds and beloved waters. Over fishing is but a fraction of the equation there, 1:46 pm, with your intentionally misleading, discriminatory against Caymanians when they are not the only players, and inaccurate post above, and I suspect that you damn well know it.




      4



      4
      • Anonymous says:

        Ganja farmers should not have spear guns.




        0



        0
        • DA WA YA GET says:

          So now I am a ganja farmer eh? What is your next pitiful excuse? Come and take a look and identify yourself if you think that is what I am doing there jackass. You may now take a long walk off of a short dock.




          0



          2
      • Anonymous says:

        “Estuaries”??? Fact check needed.




        2



        0
        • Anonymous says:

          “Ancestral fishing grounds”, Lol button needed.




          1



          0
          • DA WA YA GET says:

            What part about any of that do either of you ninkompoops not understand? Hypocrites and parasites is what you both are. Go and check facts there boo, I do not need to because I have witnessed the cause and effect myself from childhood until the present in addition to research. You, on the other hand, most probably would need a life vest in your bathtub. The truth may be an offence, but it is not a sin.




            1



            3
    • Anonymous says:

      Reality check needed Unison.




      2



      0
    • Anonymous says:

      That is a great idea! Please leave your address so all the dead iguanas can dropped off.




      2



      0
    • Anonymous says:

      No one says the cullers can’t ship them wherever they want. Think of it as two income streams to double the incentive of people to cull iguanas. All you have to do is find a country to ship them to. Go on, stop expecting Government to do everything for you. (Or at least defend us when we hire more civil servants to handle this new iguana-shipping service you’ve requested.)




      2



      0
  22. Anonymous says:

    11:45am. Causing an airplane to crash. Flying green iguana. These boys really are evolving fast




    3



    0
  23. Concern Individual says:

    What control is in place to avoid a trigger happy licensed individual with a rifle from mistakenly killing a blue iguana? Will they be penalized or will the Government turn a blind eye? Just asking as I would like to know who will be held accountable.




    10



    13
    • Anonymous says:

      OR IF THE GREEN ONES START HOLING THEIR BREATH UNTIL THEY TURN BLUE




      10



      2
    • Anonymous says:

      Good point! No hunting permits for colour blind folks!




      7



      0
    • Anonymous says:

      I am told there will be a colour blindness and stupidity test. I was told to tell you not to bother applying.




      6



      0
      • Anonymous says:

        Typical idiot gets told everything and writes it….change your name to “I Was told” see how far it gets you.




        0



        1
    • Knot S Smart says:

      A few greens… a few blues… whatever…




      0



      6
    • Anonymous says:

      I think people are under the assumption that those that offer their “culling” services won’t be ‘colour blind’! And if you know anything about the Blues they don’t come out to play, they stay in their natural habitat; they don’t wonder about like the greens, as well as the obvious, they are closer to extinction than the greens!

      CNS: please amend your website (when you can) to reflect British spelling and not American as we are most certainly a British OT not an American.

      CNS:
      We use British spelling, which should be obvious. Occasionally mistakes are made and an American spelling gets through but if you want us to correct it you have to be very specific about the word and exactly where it is.




      0



      4
      • Anonymous says:

        I can’t see any American spelling in this article but I have noticed “defense” two or three times in the past.




        1



        0
    • Anonymous says:

      agreed, there should be a hefty fine for shooting / killing a blue iguana. whether it be a mistake or not. GOV should put a hefty fine. They sell Cayman status for a million dollars, how a bout that for a fine? Anonymousir …




      3



      1
  24. Michel. says:

    Something has to be done. Good news and please have a of action.




    13



    2
  25. Anonymous says:

    I thought raffles were considered betting and illegal…… what do I know?




    13



    3
  26. Anonymous says:

    the bounty is good and a good encouragement to get people to help this disaster. However, if you are driving and have a chance to run one of these green iguanas over. PLEASE DO SO. Just kill them when you have the chance. They are becoming a problem at homes, businesses, schools etc. It could be soon that a damn green iguana cause aircraft to crash. So please, just take them out when you have the chance. Whether you are being paid to our not. Just GET RID of these problem creatures.

    Anonymousir …




    28



    9
  27. Anonymous says:

    Great news!




    15



    2

Please include your email address in the form below if you are using your real name. You can use a pseudonym, with or without leaving an email address, or just leave the form blank to be "Anonymous". All comments will be moderated before they are published. Please read the CNS Comment Policy at the top of this page.

%d bloggers like this: