Bad weather hinders iguana cull

| 22/05/2017 | 31 Comments

(CNS): Just under 1,000 green iguanas were bagged during the first few weeks of the national cull, which was impeded by bad weather. The raffle also failed to attract any amateur participants in the wider cull, which the Department of Environment believes was needed to help support the professionals, given the massive number of the invasive green iguana on Grand Cayman. More commercial cullers are being encouraged to sign up and changes to the raffle project are being made to tempt more residents into the massive task of reducing the population during the current breeding season.

“The Green Iguana Raffle has had a very small sign-up so far, and no submissions at all,” said Fred Burton, head of the DoE’s terrestrial unit. “We have decided to adjust the terms of the raffle to drum up interest.”

People can sign up for the raffle at any time by phoning the green iguana cull manager on 925-1807.

Raffle participants will now receive a ticket number for every individual green iguana they cull, mark, photograph and report.

Each of those tickets will go into the raffle pool and one ticket will be drawn randomly as soon as 500 green iguanas have been submitted collectively between all raffle participants. The participant holding the winning ticket number will be eligible for the prize of CI$1,000. The payment will be made by cheque a few weeks later. The raffle will then begin afresh for the following 500 green iguanas. Burton explained the tickets cannot be carried over and new tickets will be given for the next draw.

While the raffle is considered a way to support the commercial cull, the contractors have also got off to a slow start, Burton stated last week. Pointing to the rainy weather as a likely cause, he said less than a 1,000 greens were culled so far this month and urged new contractors to sign up for the project where they can earn $2 for each dead iguana.

Anyone with a bad green iguana infestation who would like to invite one of the contractors to cull on their property can contact the cull manager, also on 925-1807, for a list of contractors who will be happy to oblige.

Following the pilot project last summer in which professional marksmen and local cullers were involved in a test cull, the DoE decided on a commercial cull during this year’s breeding season using local commercial cullers offering a $2 bounty.

Given that even a large number of commercial cullers is unlikely to be effective on its own, the idea of amateur and ad hoc cullers in an open raffle emerged as a form of support. The aim is to use the limited resources set aside for the project to involve as many people as possible in the community to make a marked dent in the extensive population of greens.

The DoE is expected to complete a count of the greens at the end of the summer, but the cullers will need to kill tens, even hundreds, of thousands of the pesky invasive reptiles if they are to make an impression on the population that has exceeded more than half a million iguanas.

For any information on aspects of the cull call 925-1807

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Category: Marine Environment, Science & Nature

Comments (31)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Without air rifle licenses this policy is destined for failure. I’d do it for free but am not allowed. Crazy.

  2. Anonymous says:

    $2????? What a joke! That can hardly pay for ammunition!

  3. Sylvester says:

    Couple of male mongoose or male hawkes would solve this iguana issue. But I guess when you look at the economics of scale, $1,000 could solve cayman’ problem for good verses $475.000 and a bunch of wannabe cowboys in the bush with play guns. You see what cayman is always being conned?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Tsssssk, bad weather is not the reason it’s a pathetic excuse for the failure of an equally pathetic and ill thought out plan.

    It was an obvious outcome from the off. The whole thing is so badly planned and the incentive almost negligible. Why can’t they just let anybody just bring them in and hand them over to be incinerated by the DOE? Just pay a decent price per head to ANYONE who brings them in.

    Nobody is interested in the pittance on offer for hunters, or raffle tickets, photos and marking the bodies, etc. Plain stupid.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I keep cocks and hens out of my yard with an illegal slingshot. It doesn’t kill them, just makes it uncomfortable to hang around the area and it works.
    Just give me an air rifle and let me tell you how many iguanas I can get on my slow boat ride down the canal to the North Sound. I could do that for free but wouldn’t be able to collect the carcasses… I count hundreds on empty lots every weekend.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Maybe we should replace the Christmas Cleanup with the Midsummer Iguana Massacre as our annual handout event of choice?

  7. Northern Friend says:

    I know firearms are not popular in Cayman (other than with the gangsters), but granting some hunting licences for an iguana hunt using 22 calibre rifles would likely start to make a dent. There is in fact a difference between a trained hunter with a small calibre rifle and a gangster with an illegal pistol.

    • Anonymous says:

      doesn’t even have to necessarily be .22 caliber simple air pellet rifles can do the job efficiently

    • Anonymous says:

      0.22cal is too much firepower for victims and operators. We don’t need to stalk our prey from 500 yards. More like 20-50 feet with very high ricochet risk.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Our 3 acre complex hired a hunter last year and he got over 120 in a single afternoon. These “hunters” can’t be trying very hard if we’ve cleared less than a 1000 in several weeks. How many cullers are there dedicated to this task?

  9. Anonymous says:

    After the election you will likely see the iguana culls increase. I guess the potential hunters are saying, “why should I go and kill an iguana for $2.00 CI when I can go to a politician and get $25 CI and some accessories to go with it to include some 345, flat screen TV, washing machine and fridges etc…” ??

  10. Anonymous says:

    I don’t think it’s the bad weather, I think it is the way the program is set up which has resulted in such a low turn out. At the minimum, people should be able to dump the Iguanas at a designated spot for DOEH to burn them.

    • Anonymous says:

      The program is flawed. They have significantly decreased the price per head and simultaneously transferred all the work to cullers. Whereas they could cull and deliver the carcasses to DOE before, they now have to cull, write a number on each one, take photos, email photos to the cull manager and dispose of the carcasses = More Work for Less Pay.

  11. Anonymous says:

    They will never make a dent in the green iguana population unless they legalize air guns. I hope they realize this before all three islands becomes devoid of birds and half the trees are stripped bare, but who am I kidding.

    • Unison says:

      some people don’t shoot well … they would have to be trained

      • Too late to run says:

        I shoot fine and could hit 5 iguanas from where I am sitting right now, for free. Easing up air gun requirements (not a big deal after all) for ordinary people is the only way to get the upper hand on this plague. The police and govt need to decide if they want to be part of the problem or part of the solution.

        • Unison says:

          Yea but some folk may aim at iguanas ignoring other targets behind them, thus shooting someone!

          I could see alot of serious mistakes made. Some folk will still need some training.

          • Anonymous says:

            Have an appropriate agency handle the sale and licensing of air guns with mandatory training for a fee. I would definitely participate whereas I do not have the time to go through the red tape of applying for a firearm licence.

          • Anonymous says:

            if you know how to properly use a fire arm you would know to be aware of your surroundings when you shoot

    • Anonymous says:

      if air guns are not legal, what do they hunt them with?

      • ThIs WrItInG Is VeRy IrRiTaTiNg says:

        You have to go through the same process to get an air rifle as you do for a real gun. It is expensive, time consuming and cumbersome so most people just don’t bother. If the process was easier more people would have air rifles to shoot iguanas.

    • Anonymous says:

      I would love for that what are the ones without an air rifle going to do? them iguanas are hard to catch and not so easy to kill we supposed to just fling rocks and poke sticks at em? an air rifle would be the quickest and most humane way to take them out but sadly cayman too strict for that only the criminals seem to get away with having a firearm down here tisk.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I applied for the raffle last month and still haven’t had a response from the “Cull Manager”. I hope he/she is being paid per head as well…

    • ThIs WrItInG Is VeRy IrRiTaTiNg says:

      Ditto. I sent an email to the person noted on the website on 4 May and have not received a response.

  13. Cold Hard Truth says:

    Anyone registered as unemployed should be required to participate and should be set a daily minimum.

  14. Anonymous says:

    900K to go lol

  15. Anonymous says:

    Real hunters let a little weather get in teh way, eh?

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