DoE opens $2 green iguana cull registration

| 18/04/2017 | 50 Comments

(CNS): People interested in taking part in this year’s green iguana cull to reduce the numbers of the ubiquitous pest are asked to register tomorrow with the Department of Environment. Wednesday 19 April will be the first open day of registration for eligible locals and businesses to register as contractors for the cull, which starts next month with a $2 bounty on each green iguana head. Contracts are open to Caymanian adults, permanent residents with the right to work or appropriate Trade and Business Licence holders.

The contracts are for participants who want to cull the pesky reptiles on a significant scale (in excess of 100 iguanas per month) during the May through August culling period.

With fears that the invasive iguanas could be reaching close to a million on Grand Cayman and their appearance on Cayman Brac, the  government has allocated funding for the project in a bid to bring the population down to a manageable size, as total eradication is now thought to be impossible.

Green iguanas have flourished in Cayman over the last ten years or more and are having a disastrous impact on the natural habitat of the island, consuming trees and plants at an alarming rate. Working out the best way to control the numbers has been a challenge, as well as how to disposing of the carcasses.

DoE officials are particularly concerned that dead iguanas are not dumped into the sea but properly disposed of. Fred Burton, who heads up the DoE’s Invasive Species Unit, revealed at a recent National Conservation Council meeting that a cull manager was being recruited to remotely oversee the four-month project to tackle the pest during its breeding season.

Culling contracts will place strict obligations on participants to respect property rights, cull the iguanas humanely and dispose of carcasses properly. Reporting of culled iguanas for payment purposes must be done by marking the carcasses, photographing them and sending the photos to the cull manager. Before signing any contract for large-scale culling, the DoE will need to see proof of eligibility, such as a Caymanian passport or PR stamp, voter registration card or a T&B licence, and will need to make a copy of a photo ID with a local address, such as a current driver’s licence.

Anyone interested in culling green iguanas on a smaller scale will be able to participate in the Green Iguana Raffle, where raffle tickets for a twice-monthly cash prize will be issued for every 10 iguanas culled.

“An attempt to involve the community at large with the raffle has the potential to scale up culling operations considerably,” Burton said, explaining that it is unlikely that the formal cull contractors alone will be able to reach the scale needed to make a real impact on the population growth trajectory.

Contractors cannot participate in the raffle. Raffle registration by email will begin on 26 April, officials said. Raffle cullers will also be held to the same rules as the contractors.

Registration for contractors will be at the Department of Environment, North Sound Road, and will be open from 10am until 7pm. Additional registration days will follow as necessary.

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Category: Land Habitat, Science & Nature

Comments (50)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Have the phillopinoes got tired of eating iguanas?

  2. Anonymous says:

    How about da doe get more officers to catch poachers with new boats and save our indigenous wildlife instead of paying to kill iguanas?
    That would be money well spent, not spending it on idiots thirst for reptile blood.

    • Unison says:

      The problem with the iguanas is that they are killing bird species on the island. They break up birds nests and eat eggs too. If they increase we could see our native parrots go extinct as well as certain birds. :/

  3. c says:

    I dont understand why they dont get a teams of people who are unemployed to work with DOE. pay them salary and train them to catch the animals and then dispose of them correctly.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Previous poster “Al Catraz” eluded to this, sort of. Here’s an idea for the raffle so even armchair cullers can join in.

    Post a photo in the media every week of a well camouflaged iggy and would be cullers ready to let loose. Players sign up to place an “x” where they think iggy is in the photo.
    Hold a draw every week to get a winner. Part of the prize money goes back into the program.

    Spot the iggy!

  5. Anonymous says:

    So I agree there needs to be a cull.

    However the way that DoE have decided to control it is totally wrong and flawed. ..there will be carcasses everywhere soon or if not they will be in the sea. By not stipulating a humane method of killing and allowing a relaxation of pellet gun laws they have opened up a free for all.

    Today I saw a guy at at well known automotive dealer dispatching a green iguana. ….repetative beating with a broom handle until it fell to the floor then the guy stands on its body and tries to tap it’s head to crush it. Inhumane and pathetic. You think that’s not going to go on all over the islands and you want your kids to see that? Just saying…

    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t worry, it only hurts them the whole time they’re dying, that’s all. They need to go, leave the people be to cull them as they please. If it were up to people like you we’d be tripping up over the iguanas soon.

    • Anonymous says:

      1, 2, 3….a big aaaaaaaawh!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Killing the iguanas in this way is cruel and inhumane, whichever way you look at it. Just because it’s backed by government doesn’t make it right.

  7. Al Catraz says:

    “marking the carcasses, photographing them and sending the photos to the cull manager”

    1. Mark the lizard on the left, right and bottom, and then photograph it from each aspect. Bonus $4.

    2. Clean off the marks, have your buddy mark the same lizard. Repeat. Bonus $6.

    3. Take multiple pictures of the same lizard, so they aren’t precisely identical. Send in the other pictures of the same lizards every two weeks, because the cull manager is not going to recognize the same dead lizard two weeks later. Bonus – sky’s the limit.

    Because payment is based on “photos of dead lizards” and not “dead lizards”, the creative possibilities abound.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is an open invitation to defraud. Only on the Island of Cayman could such an idea be accepted. SIDD

  8. Al Catraz says:

    “marking the carcasses, photographing them and sending the photos to the cull manager”

    So, mark your dead lizard on the right, left, and bottom and photograph it from each direction

  9. Iggy says:

    Another waste of money scheme. Tell me is the laws on the books yet stopping me from capturing and breeding iguanas? If you see what I mean, a job for life! 200 iguanas in one day for a month is $6,000 a month. To me they should have passed the law to ban breeding iguanas first before the culling. Very laughable!

  10. Anonymous says:

    At least the DOE is doing something with the iguanas. What about the chicken pest situation that the Department of Agriculture is clueless about solving?

  11. Anonymous says:

    DOE, Pleeze open the culling to include minimum wage work permit holders. Perhaps by including that category you may assist in saving eagle rays and other sea life!

  12. Sharkey says:

    I think that this iguana cull that DOE is doing is the new sport for Cayman Islands.
    Why don’t they offer one time say 3 or 4 top prizes for the most iguanas brought in one day , from $1,500 to $500 . Then they would be able to get depletion / participation, but no one is going out to hunt 100 iguanas for $200. Stupid stupid. Shows that DOE is not thinking about solving the problem .

    • Jotnar says:

      No one is going to hunt 100 iguanas for $200? How long do you think it would take to kill 100 iguanas? Reckon its going to be way less than say 10 hours if you pick your spot. Compare that with the minimum wage.

    • SSM345 says:

      Your comment tells me that you have to paid to help solve your Islands problems, rather than doing whatever it takes at whatever cost. Are you a politician by any chance?

  13. Anonymous says:

    DOE, I have no problem with what you’re doing, BUT please make sure somehow that it is done humanely and any person or person not killing humanely with be kicked out of the cull and not paid.

    • Anonymous says:

      I find a piece of 4 be 2 works quite well when I catch them eating plants in our garden. One whack with that and they never wake up.

  14. Anonymous says:

    I’m rather confused, do persons that take part in the raffle still get paid 2$ per iguana?

    • Jotnar says:

      They get a raffle ticket for every 10 dead iguanas. For a prize which they haven’t decided yet. Notwithstanding that lotteries and raffles are illegal.

    • Anonymous says:

      No. Two different programs.

    • Anonymous says:


      Larger-scale cullers (100+/month) will be paid $2/ea.

      Smaller-scale cullers will receive an entry to a cash raffle (amount not yet announced) for every 10 iguanas culled. The cash raffle is likely to be much higher than $2/ea for any individual winner to incentivize participation, but since your chances to win are reduced by the number of other entrants, the actual rate of return will probably be less than $2/ea overall.

      Like a lottery, we’re all bad at calculating probability, so government is banking on reducing their program costs through what they hope will be widely distributed small cullers who don’t band together to register as a large-scale culling organization for the sure thing at $2/ea.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Can roosters be included. Would be nice not to be woken up at 3am every morning.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Why put restrictions on who can cull?? Just GITTERDUN!!!!!
    Sheesh. Always gotta be ‘us’ and ‘them’, eh!? Just keep stirring that pot.
    Da wah ya get

    • Anonymous says:

      No kidding!

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree, I don’t care where you are from if you can get these iguanas outta my yard!

      Has the government looked into birth control as an option? I read where NY is introducing birth control to prevent numbers of rats rising further which prompted me to look at similar options for iguanas and it appears feasible. I wonder why we don’t pursue it?

  17. Anonymous says:

    Don’t need to pay me. I run those buggers over any time I see them.

  18. Anonymous says:

    So how do we cull them ? No one can get a pellet gun license as the laws are so antiquated…

    • SSM345 says:

      Pelt rocks, use your cars or fishing lines, and pray for them to go away are our only options.

    • Anonymous says:

      Havahart Squirrel Traps (<$25 on Amazon) baited with Mango pits work very well in Florida on same invasive Honduran green iguana. DoA should work with DoE – call Havahart and get a bulk wholesale discount on these traps. Resources should be pooled to create a few full-time jobs by having trained crews humanely dispatch trapped pests, and dispose of them properly. This is going to get very gory very quickly if it's a free for all using any method, and the bodies are going to be thrown into the canals where we'll unwittingly create lemon shark habitat in areas where kids are swimming. Not a great idea, thank you very much!

      • Anonymous says:

        Then don’t let your kids swim in canals. If they get attacked by a shark in a pool then there’s a real problem. Until then, kill them and dump them. Simple.

  19. Anonymous says:

    $2 for iguanas and only $1.50 for politicians?

  20. Anonymous says:

    Cayman kind my ass. Let’s just wipe m out huh.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Ummm, having a Caymanian passport does not mean you are Caymanian. There is no such thing as a PR stamp that says “iguana culler.” What about spouses of Caymanians who do not have PR with the right to work (most do not)? What is an “appropriate” trade and business license?

    • Anonymous says:

      Some vinegar with that chip on your shoulder?

    • Fred says:

      Does the iguana care as to the immigration status of the person that kills it? Particularly since some expat nationalities eat iguana – seems like a win win in terms of numbers killed and not having to deal with the carcasses.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why would it even matter who undertakes this crappy job?

    • Anonymous says:

      Ask them. It makes more sense from the horses mouth. Otherwise take it from me 3rd hand.
      1) The status/TBL/etc./ requirements are for the culling contracts. “Anyone” (to quote the article) can enter the bounty.
      2) You can’t have Government employing people outside the terms & conditions of their Work Permits, right? So this is basically saying ‘if you want a contract you need to be Caymanian, or close enough, that us hiring you doesn’t break the law’.
      3) Apparently there are people with Trade & Business Licences that include ‘kill iguanas’ in their business description. And you wouldn’t want Government hiring a company that doesn’t have their T&B Licence right? (And T&B is supposed to be the check for pension, etc.) So this requirement is just ‘if you want a Government contract show that us hiring you doesn’t break the law’. Plus it keeps the playing field level. Everyone who wants a contract needs to wither update or get a TBL that says ‘kills iguanas’ as one of the aspects of the business. You wouldn’t want the ones that did get their TBLs complaining about ‘all these fly-by-night cullers without even a TBL undercutting us real businesspersons who follow all the rules’ would you?

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