Green iguana cull tops 100,000 in first two weeks

| 14/11/2018 | 54 Comments
green iguana, Cayman News Service

Invasive green iguana

(CNS): Invasive green iguana cullers on Grand Cayman have already managed to remove well over 100,000 of the pesky reptile in just the first two weeks of the island-wide cull aimed at reducing the population to a less harmful level. With more than 1.6 million believed to be on the island at the start of the cull, the Department of Environment had estimated that around 6,000 iguanas would need to be removed each day to ensure the success of the project. Speaking on CIGTV, DoE Terrestrial Resources Unit Manager Fred Burton said that the daily target is currently being easily exceeded, with cullers bringing in closer to 8,000 corpses per day.

As of 13 November, 106,416 green iguanas had been culled and taken to the landfill counting station. These numbers suggest that the cull is well on track to ensure that a significant number of animals will have been removed before the breeding season starts next summer.

Burton said there were some early teething problems but those that have now been addressed, including the decision not to accept heads and to make sure that, unless expressly authorised, all cullers bring in the whole animal to the landfill to claim the bounty, which has reduced careless disposal of the animals. He also urged the cullers to ensure they have permission to kill the iguanas on private land, as there have been reports of people trespassing.

However, Burton said that things had largely started out really well and the numbers being removed were encouraging.

“We are very, very pleased with the numbers coming in,” he said. “Hopefully, we will see a serious improvement in the situation we have been seeing for a long time.”

Burton also said there were checks and balances in the counting system, as well as CCTV cameras at the station, so the DoE could rely on the numbers and ensure cullers will be fairly paid.

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Category: Land Habitat, Science & Nature

Comments (54)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    simple question…where are the bodies and how are they being disposed of?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Can we start on the cats next?

    • Anonymous says:

      Next on the agenda:

      Crewe Road chickens
      Quarry Dogs

  3. Anonymous says:

    The mysterious Cornwall Consulting with its chartered accountants. It’s not like any accounting skills needed other than simple ariphmetics.
    Someone has a stake in CC for there’s no other reasons they were selected.
    Just doesn’t make any sense.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Cullers, please target the females and the nests.

  5. Mike Hennessy says:

    Back in the day, the governmet considered bringing in chicken cullers, which led Barefoot Man to record his instant classic “Chicken Bounty Hunter”. My time in Cayman was quite educational! Mike Hennessy, former news director Rooster 101

  6. BeaumontZodecloun says:

    Keep up the good work, all cullers on all three islands. Most of us appreciate what you are doing.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thanks for doing a good job. I hope it’s not too late and we will be like Dade and
      Bro ward Counties they are really really terrible there even in the toilets.
      I hope this don’t stop until we have the last one. Then the CHICKENS.

  7. twiggy says:

    The remaining 1.5 million iguanas have probably laid at least 50,000 eggs in the last 2 weeks, so we have a long way to go. All this ripe meat at the dump is sure going to pong!.

  8. Anonymous says:

    great stuff…if it’s true.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Are the invasive green iguana cullers also licensed to kill the iguanas? Do they creep ashore at night and leave before sunrise? How many invasive green iguanas have our non-invasive cullers managed to kill?

    • Anonymous says:

      What the fart are you talking about?

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m sorry to have to be the one…… but…… culling IS killing. You honestly think that 100,000 live iguanas were dragged to the dump to be counted??

      Good luck with your life. I hope it goes well.

      • Anonymous says:

        Allow me to enlighten you dearie. If you eat chicken, you have to kill it first. If you eat seafood, you have to kill it first. If you are a vegetarian, you have to kill plants, chew them up and swallow them by the pound to make a meal. Every creature on earth kills ‘something’ to survive. It’s called a ‘food chain’ and it is the natural way of life.

        As for the poor little iggies that you’re hugging right now, they’re eating the blue iguanas food and breeding with their mates, so they need to go.

        • Anonymous says:

          Evidence? So the Blues aren’t making the recovery the experts say they are? So where’s all the money going? Have you been to the Blue Iguana Reserve and seen how the greens and Blues seem to coexist quite happily with no published and certified evidence on interbreeding?

          • Anonymous says:

            If the greens weren’t roaming the streets the Blues wouldn’t need to be in a reserve. How is interbreeding a good thing? Can we be proud of the results?

      • Anonymous says:

        If you weren’t born here, you won’t understand because you’re not emotionally connected to the Blue Iguanas. Are you American? Well, how would you feel if another species was invading the Bald Eagles’ territory, eating their food, breeding with their mates and causing their numbers to deplete? Chances are, you would be the first one out there with a buckshot on the back of dem ‘good ol’ boys’ pick-up truck firin’ at everything in sight.

        Just try to thing of the green iguana as a really big roach. It’s a PEST that we have absolutely no use for, it doesn’t belong here and we should not be losing any sleep over them.

        • Anonymous says:

          Actually the green iguanas does more harm to us humans, they eat the blossoms off of our fruit trees before it even gets a chance to bud.
          If you can remember about two or three years ago we didn’t have a mango season because of them, so for sure they are pest for us all and they needs to go.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I still say that we should sell the meat and use the skin to make iguana-leather goods.

    • Anonymous says:

      So do it

    • Anonymous says:

      Go for it. Nothing is stopping you or anyone else doing so. (Except economics.)

    • Anonymous says:

      Forward thinking takes centuries here.

    • Anonymous says:

      go set up the business then.
      free tip:…ask an accountant do you a business plan first.

    • BeaumontZodecloun says:

      There is a problem with tanning green iguana skin that few know about. In fact, I may be the only one. Green iguanas lose their colour when they cool. Using conventional reptile tanning compounds, the tanned green iguana skin unfortunately appears grayish blue. Yah. I’ve done it three times, same thing each time. I can NOT have anyone thinking I’ve killed and tanned a blue iguana. Thus, unless different compounds are used or the hide is painted afterward (EW!) it won’t work.

      That was a really good idea though, and perhaps if we try different tanning compounds, we’ll find one that works. I know I will keep trying. For now, it’s not a winner.

  11. Shaking my Iguana Head says:

    Those Iguana farmers up in WB will be able to retire soon!

    • Anonymous says:

      If you have factual evidence take it to the DoE/Fred Burton/RCIPS. Do not just complain. Stand up and do something.

      • BeaumontZodecloun says:

        Thank you. Getting real tired of this “green iguana farm” narrative. While there may not be laws currently to address such a thing, it would be a terrible citizen that would do such a thing. People who talk about the “farm” — either show some evidence or STFU.

        • Anonymous says:

          Do you seriously believe 100,000 iguanas have been killed in 3 weeks? That’s a minimum of $450,000 that could have been spent on schools, welfare issues and the elderly, to name a few more worthy causes. But that’s not the point is it.
          Even if such a number have been terminated, the existing numbers will soon replace them as more and more areas become depopulated, food and territory becomes available and the urge to procreate makes the current situation even worse. Male iguanas are in season for 30 days plus and breed with several females during that period. They inturn can lay up to 30 eggs that incubate from between 90 to 120 days, (that’s up to 4 months) so the numbers are potentially huge. Meaning the bulk of this years clutch must run into the 100’s of 1000’s if not millions and aren’t even visible yet. 50,000 females alone could potentially give birth to 1.5 million hatchlings in a season. So what on earth do you think the alleged number of 1.5 million plus adults can do, or have already done? Even if the total population of currently viable adults are destroyed by next December, their kids are only getting started on their road to sexual maturity and repopulation, and then what?
          Drive down any road on the island and you will still see plenty of new hatchlings sunning themselves on the black top, ready to replace their predecessors. And they are the ones you can see, not the millions already roaming the bush and wetlands unmolested.
          The numbers in the wild currently being banded around are best guesses probably based on spot checks around the island. In other words they are unreliable and by no means verifiable. The fact is that the areas beyond the easy reach of cullers will continue to home green iguanas for many many years without anyway of knowing the true numbers. And, they will continue to spread and return to all areas when the planned culling period stops.
          Burton and his team have probably unleashed a nightmare and I hope when the money runs out he is prepared for the consequences and the public anger.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Should take the dead ones off shore let the sharks eat them ,that many will need a very big hole to bury them ……

  13. Alrighty then! says:

    Hope there is an decent control function and audit put in place for this or next head line with be Guana-Gate.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Great job!

  15. Anonymous says:

    Wonder if the culled numbers represent an underestimation of real total population out there?

    • Anonymous says:

      Farmed amounts, which are being sold through a totally unsupervised project. As long as you’re “licensed to kull”…

    • Anonymous says:

      Emmm yes. There is now in excess of 1.5 million. You would need to cull everyday for the next x years to rid our shores of these pests.

      • Anonymous says:

        According to my calculator, 1,500,000 green iguanas divided by 6000 equals 250 days to eradicate them all, assuming those culling averages are accurate. Even cut that estimate in half and the problem should be solved in less than two years. Many of you aren’t old enough to remember when they said that they couldn’t eradicate mosquitoes from Grand Cayman.

        • Anonymous says:

          Mosquitoes have not been eradicated from Grand Cayman lol. Have you not been outside past 6pm?

          • P&L says:

            Yes they are still very bad but it is also relative… it’s not like back in the day by any means. My mom said when she was growing up in Cayman cows would keel over… suffocated by the swarm of mosquitoes in their nostrils!

    • Anonymous says:

      True number… the actually count each delivered in order to pay people accurately

  16. Anonymous says:

    Probably the true number is nearer 2 million iguanas wild. That is why so many have been caught

  17. Anonymous says:

    Keep it up!!

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