500,000 iguanas culled but more hands needed

| 30/03/2019 | 37 Comments
Cayman News Service

Green iguanas

(CNS): Although the current team of cullers bagged more than half a million invasive green iguanas in the first six months of the island-wide operation, the Department of Environment is calling on more people to train and register in order to make sure there is not an explosion in the population as the breeding season starts. Although the pending breeding will make the green reptiles more visible as they go looking for mates, unless cullers keep up the pressure, there is a danger the population could bounce back, even with the major dent made so far.

Given the need to keep the cull on track, the DoE and Cornwall Consulting, its private sector partner, are intensifying efforts to train and hire more Caymanians for the cull in the coming weeks.

“We’ve bagged about 500,000 of these invasive critters since late October, but there are probably close to one million more out there on Grand Cayman,” said DoE Terrestrial Resources Unit Manager Fred Burton in a press release. “If we don’t keep pressing ahead with the cull effort during the upcoming breeding season, the green iguana population will bounce right back.”

Working with the new government employment department, Workforce Opportunities and Residency Cayman, officials will be approaching unemployed or underemployed Caymanians registered with WORC to determine if they want to take part in the work, which runs through to the end of this year.

“We believe more people want to get involved, but they don’t feel confident in their own culling abilities,” said Cornwall Consulting Manager Karl Noble. “We can help with that.”

Noble said training programmes for prospective cullers will be held at the George Town landfill green iguana disposal site in the coming weeks. Any current cullers who wish to have a refresher course can also participate.

“We will need all hands on deck to ensure the continued success of the Green Iguana Cull Project,” said Environment Minister Dwayne Seymour. “Caymanians who want to earn some extra money and help their community deal with this invasive pest will have every opportunity to get involved.”

For more information, interested Caymanians who are at least 18 years old can contact Cornwall via phone at 949-1544/769-8888 or via email at info@cornwall.ky.  

The DoE will also be distributing flyers with information on how to get involved in, or receive training for, the cull at WORC, the Needs Assessment Unit and other social services agencies.

For more information about the Green Iguana Cull Project, cull training or registration, contact DoE Public Education and Outreach Officer Brent Fuller via phone at 244-5984 or email brent.fuller@gov.ky.

You can also call the DoE office line at 949- 8469 or email DoE@gov.ky.

Tags: , , ,

Category: Land Habitat, Science & Nature

Comments (37)

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  1. Jotnar says:

    If the objective is to kill iguanas and the number of cullers is a problem then why as a matter of logic are culling licences confined to Caymanians? DOE is missing volunteers from 50% of the adult population, which given our propensity to import cheap labour, includes a disproportionate amount of people who would welcome the opportunity to make extra dollars. What’s the priority here; killing the iguanas or providing extra income to Caymanians? Even if it’s the latter, it’s not as if the opportunity hasn’t been made available and the pool of Caymanians prepares to do it tapped. No Caymanian is going to lose out – plenty of iguanas left, more than the current cullers can handle. Want to make a significant difference then open it up to permit holders.

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  2. gee says:

    now if we could only start getting rid of the no good two legged ones! #nogood.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    500k dead iguanas needs a pit the equivalent of 85ft long x 85ft wide x 85 ft deep!!!
    something does not add up up….. again.
    this whole scheme leaves more questions than answers.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Your math is not very good here even 500k fully mature iguanas would not take up over 600k cubic feet. In terms of volume these suckers are less than 1 cubic foot even full grown and not everything being caught is full grown.

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  4. Anon says:

    Check behind the old hotel across from Marriott.. iguanas there by the hundreds.. get permission first though lol

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  5. Anonymous says:

    CNS, you do realize that is a BLUE IGUANA in your picture right?? Please change it to a pic of a green iguana before some idiot thinks it is ok to cull a blue iguana

    CNS: The iguana in the picture is a green iguana. See this Auntie questions: Distinguishing blue from green iguanas

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  6. Anonymous says:

    Please take your recruitment drive to Fosters parking lot and round up all those beggars. The foul mouthed man with “gout” and an American accent, Wiley, the lil ole lady that sits on the bench with gold earrings (to name a few) should be able to work for their money like the rest of us.

    I am happy for Government to spend the money on this mission and appreciate the job opportunity it creates for many.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    said it before: double the bounty for females

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  8. Anonymous says:

    How much is the current bounty for terminating a green?

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  9. Anonymous says:

    Drop the fees for air rifles for people who have been granted the license and more iguanas will be handed in. You have people looking at iguanas in the hundreds in their backyard and don’t have a way to get them.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    so where are the 500k carcasses?

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    • Anonymous says:

      it is appears that there is an elaborate scheme behind the number since nobody won’t answer that question.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Please just go to the dump and see for yourself! Oh wait, that’s too much trouble and is problematic to your conspiracy angle.

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  11. anon says:

    I suppose Mt Trashmore has now gained several feet in elevation and has become even smellier.

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  12. Anonymous says:

    Please stop cullers from entering vacant lots that they do not have permission to cull on after 7.00 pm. As a single mother it is very scary when you have men at 10.00 pm in the bush with guns. Please put an end to this.

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  13. Anonymous says:

    DOE needs to offer continuous registration not these short limited time ones. Make it easy to register and you’ll get a lot more cullers

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  14. Anonymous says:

    Too late Fred, they’ve been breeding for months and you’re gonna lose this battle. I hope you’re ready for the backlash when the dodo’s realise the waste of money that’s been taking place on your watch.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Any efforts are not wasted.

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    • Anonymous says:

      @3:41 Do you have a better plan to offer up? Didn’t think so.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Actually yes. Make property owners responsible for taking care of iguanas on their land as they are for scorpions, cockroaches etc….. There are professional pest controllers on island, make people pay for their own problem, not the public purse.

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        • Anonymous says:

          So.. The culling is a waste of time and the remedy would be to make property owners pay for the same culling that you said was a waste…????

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          • Anonymous says:

            Not from the public purse, idiot. That would be better spent on care for the elderly, roads, housing etc… Or how about conserving the indigenous wildlife that is in so much peril from poachers. It is a waste when that money could be spent on better projects instead of trying to fight the impossible fight to eradicate a continuously breeding lizard. Get them off your own land as its your imported plants they eat and pool they crap in, you’d spray for aphid or caterpillars, you don’t rely on some ridiculous politically motivated scheme to do it for you.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Yes. Allow responsible homeowners to have an air rifle to keep their own land clear.

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