Volunteers take on Brac green iguana cull

| 04/05/2017 | 7 Comments

(CNS): The Department of Environment is taking a different approach on culling the pesky green iguanas on Cayman Brac to the one on Grand Cayman, after an intense cull on the Sister Island made a dent on the newly emerging population. Volunteers have agreed to work on suppressing the invasive species on the Sister Islands without a bounty. Fred Burton, the head of the DoE’s terrestrial unit, told CNS that a team had recently gone to the Brac and worked with local volunteers to “hammer the Spot Bay area”, where the green iguanas are most concentrated.

The numbers on the Brac are still relatively small but they are now on the Bluff, where they are particularly hard to catch, Burton said. Nevertheless, the numbers are still far less than on Grand Cayman, where there are concerns there could be as many as a million lizards munching their way through the island’s vegetation.

The commercial cull has now started on Grand Cayman, where licensed cullers are going to be collecting $2 per green head for the next four months, and residents who are interested in helping with the cull on an ad hoc basis are also being encouraged to register for a regular raffle.

Burton explained that, given the much smaller population on Cayman Brac, it would be impossible to offer a financial incentive to commercial cullers because they would not be able to find enough to make any money for the effort. He said the DoE had to consider the risk that offering money on the Brac could cause because someone could be tempted to import the pests from Grand Cayman to get the cash, defeating the entire purpose of the cull.

The iguana expert, who has gone from saving Cayman’s unique indigenous blue iguana from the brink of extinction to trying to exterminate adaptable and resilient greens, said that the volunteer cullers on the Brac are committed to keeping the numbers down. He said there were enough volunteers there who were keen to ensure that the greens don’t get a grip on the Sister Islands and they will be keeping up the cull throughout the breeding season.

The biggest challenge is on Grand Cayman, where the greens are widespread from West Bay to Bodden Town. But the seasonal cull is now underway and Burton is also encouraging residents to sign up for the raffle, which they can do all the way through till August, making them eligible to win $1,000 in the twice monthly raffle draw.

For more details contact the cull manager, Sonya Carlesso on  925-1807 or sonya.carlesso@gov.ky

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Category: Land Habitat, Science & Nature

Comments (7)

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  1. Brac fan in TX says:

    Please. Could everyone get on the same page and just rid the islands of these invasive pests.
    You can kiss your gardens and fruit trees goodbye if these critters get a hold like the green iguana has done in GC.
    Kudos to the two ladies at the Brac Agriculture Show that gave out information on this invasive species.
    Let’s work together.

  2. Unison says:

    Interestingly, the Buddhist sutras talk about karmic retribution for collectively killing creatures or human beings, such natural disasters, epidemics, et cetera …

    I have to wonder why are the iguanas breeding so great numbers? There was a time Cayman for allegators … must have been many of them. My point is the times and seasons change. Could this just be their time? And do they serve to test us?

    Do we have to kill them??? Can we not plant more trees than tearing them down? They get hungry just like people and look for a homes in tree branches. Can we not place traps to catch them and transport off the island? Can we not plant more trees that they love to be in? Why are we cutting down our trees? Can we not repel them from our yards in harmless ways??? Is this a test – to show how we treat them, we will treat our own kind?! Why are we making our children participate in the cruel killing of these lizards? What are we teaching them? Can we not brainstorm, consult experts, and come up with other solutions???

    Just my thoughts

  3. Anonymous says:

    Well that is one project down form the PPM 🙂

    • Beaumont Zodecloun says:

      Why attempt to put a political slant on an otherwise beneficial volunteer effort? These are locals who donate their time and efforts purely for the good of the Sister Islands, hoping they can keep the green iguana numbers down. They aren’t being paid.

      Your attempt to denigrate the PPM is a huge failure. You probably don’t know any better, bless your heart.

      • Anonymous says:

        Sir/Mam you said it right, never heard any political stuff about this all volunteer, non paid effort being conducted. Instead of criticizing those involved, why don’t the naysayers do something positive. I see that a blogger has noted Mr. Boley’s efforts and I too publicly thank Mr. Boley for his unselfishness and willingness to be part of the solution, not the problem.

    • Anonymous says:

      And a special thank you to Mr. Lance Boley for his dedication – numerous hours he has put forth into this project.

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