If you dislike lizards, then this next story may not be to your liking.
Iguanas are taking over Grand Cayman. It’s so bad that the Cayman Government has launched a Pilot program (The Jamaica Gleaner, 2016, June 23) to reduce their population. Already hunters are making a fine living hunting and catching Iguanas with dogs and air rifles, with eighteen (18) being able to kill as much as 14,000 iguanas weighing two (2) tons of iguanas a day.
Ironically, the Iguana is on the Endangered list here in Jamaica (Abbott, 2014, June 7) with only two hundred (200) living in the Hellshire Hills, also part of the Portland Bight and on Goat Island, site of a potential (Thompson, 2013, September 4) Chinese Port Development.
The problem began in a manner similar to what happened in Aruba with boa constrictors (Crossan, 2015, May 10); some foreigners released a pair of iguanas that they had as pets and they’d gotten tired of and they bred out of control. This is a lot like what’s happening in Aruba, one of the ABC islands in the Caribbean.
Back in the 90’s a tourist released Boa Constrictors after leaving the island. They bred like rabbits and are now a major menace, eating small animals whole, albeit they’re harmless to humans. To this end, the Aruban authorities are paying locals US$10 to capture, dead or alive!
It’s also similar to the current Crab invasion in Milk River Clarendon (Deer, 2016, June 14) due to coal burners cutting down the wood form the mangrove. This isn’t quite an invasion but it’s similar, as humans removing the habitat that crabs use to lay their eggs, causing an upheaval in the ecosystem. This affects the spawning of fish and potentially even the formation of coral reef, which are currently experiencing a major bleaching event (Deer, 2016, June 11) in Summer of 2016.
In a similar manner these iguana are basically eating up the fauna and eventually may threaten what little agricultural produce that is grown on the island. So what can the Government of Cayman do to fight the Iguana Invasion?
Iguana Invasion in Cayman Island – Jamaicans can help by eating Iguana Meat
Manager at the Cayman Islands’ environment department, Fred Burton, says managing the iguana invasion will require a longterm management plan to beat back the reptiles, as they’re population is doubling in number every 1 1/2 years.
Part of that plan may involved creating an Invasive species Data (Deer, 2015, October 23) as the NEPA (National Environment and Planning Agency) with support from UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) has done by launching Jamaica’s first JSID (Jamaica Invasive Species Database).
But there is a long-terms solution; the Cayman Government can export them and sell iguana meat for export and their leather (Whittaker, 2016, July 10) to make shoes and belts!
With such a rapid rate of growth, the Cayman Government can make a fortune by capturing and exporting their meat to other countries such as Mexico, who like iguana meat as it tastes really good.
As with the case of cephalopods (Deer, 2016, May 24) breeding out of control or the lionfish (Deer, 2014, April 16), being be eaten on preference to Parrotfish, now would be a good time for Jamaicans to help out the Cayman people by adding iguanas to their diet.
- Thompson, K. (2013, September 4). Jamaican Iguana fighting for survival. Retrieved from http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/environment/jamaican-iguana-fighting-for-survival_15000242
- Deer, L. (2014, April 16). National Lionfish Project reaps 66% reduction as NEPA’s MTIASIC suggests Commercial Lionfish Farming. Retrieved from http://mythoughtsontechnologyandjamaica.blogspot.com/2014/04/national-lionfish-project-reaps-66.html
- Abbott, D. (2014, June 7). Spare a thought for the Jamaican iguana. Retrieved from http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Spare-a-thought-for-the-Jamaican-iguana_16818670
- Crossan, R. (2015, May 10). The hitchhiking snakes of the Caribbean. Retrieved from http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-32662173
- Deer, L. (2015, October 23). NEPA and UNDP Jamaica Invasive Species Database – Why Jamaicans may be the Environment’s worst Enemy. Retrieved from http://mythoughtsontechnologyandjamaica.blogspot.com/2015/10/NEPA-UNDP-Jamaica-Invasive-Species-Database-JISD.html
- Deer, L. (2016, May 12). How a Parrotfish Ban with Lionfish replacement will save Coral Reefs. Retrieved from http://mythoughtsontechnologyandjamaica.blogspot.com/2016/05/Parrotfish-Ban-Lionfish-Coral-Reefs.html
- Deer, L. (2016, May 24). How University of Adelaide discovered Cepholopods are increasing and Calamari will be popular. Retrieved from http://mythoughtsontechnologyandjamaica.blogspot.com/2016/05/University-of-Adelaide-Cepholopods.html
- Deer, L. (2016, June 11). Why NOAA Caribbean Coral Reef Watch prediction of Coral Reef Bleaching requires ParrotFish Ban. Retrieved from https://mythoughtsontechnologyandjamaica.blogspot.com/2016/06/NOAA-Caribbean-Coral-Reef-Watch-coral-bleaching-2016.html
- Deer, L. (2016, June 14). Crab Invasion in Rocky Point, Clarendon connected to Dying Mangroves and Coral Reefs. Retrieved from https://lindsworthdeer.wordpress.com/2016/06/14/crab-invasion-2016/
- The Jamaica Gleaner. (2016, June 23). Fight On To Curb Iguana Invasion. Retrieved from http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/world-news/20160623/fight-curb-iguana-invasion
- Deer, L. (2016, June 26). How Andrew Holness made Rainforest Seafood Fish Back a Sunday Menu Staple. Retrieved from https://lindsworthdeer.wordpress.com/2016/06/27/andrew-holness-fish-back/
- Whittaker, J. (2016, July 10). Invasive green iguanas could be targeted for food. Retrieved from https://www.caymancompass.com/2016/07/10/invasive-green-iguanas-could-be-targeted-for-food/