Tegu Lizard: This invasive species is causing nuisance throughout Florida

The tegu lizard is rapidly spreading throughout Florida and even on the Treasure Coast. So many natural areas, native wildlife, and even Everglades National Park restoration efforts may face critical implications due to the increase in population.

(Photo: Getty Images)

Spread of the tegu population in Florida

Growth and spread of Argentine population of black and white tegu in Florida was co-authored by scientists at UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF / IFAS) with partner agencies, revealing the scale and depth of the tegu problem .

The fact sheet discusses in depth the invasion of the species, the growth of the tegu population, the implications for animals and natural places at risk, the objectives and actions of many agencies to reduce the danger. and the consequences of the expansion of species.

Tegu numbers can be managed with persistent trapping efforts and resources, says Melissa Miller, invasive species research coordinator for The Croc Docs at UF’s Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center (REC). .

Tegus has already moved outside of South Florida, and this trend is expected to continue unless authorities working together take steps to manage, investigate, and monitor these pests.

With the establishment of breeding populations in Hillsborough, Charlotte, Miami-Dade, and St. Lucia counties, Argentine black-and-white tegu populations have increased in Florida.

Also read: Florida authorities search for exotic lizard after massive escape; 33 captured

Report of Tegu sightings in Georgia counties

Tegus have been found in 31 other counties in Florida, according to the CDC, which may represent stray or abandoned animals that have yet to establish breeding populations. At least four counties in Georgia have reported sightings.

There was an increase in both the amount of tegus removed and the effort put into catching them. Private trappers, some of whom claimed to have removed more than 400 tegus, are not included in these totals.

This problem is being tackled with the support of federal and state partners, as well as public and private property managers.

According to SFWMD’s land resources office director Rory Feeney, there are concerns that tegus will spread because they eat native animals, especially small mammals and reptiles. Reducing tegu populations and curbing their spread is an essential part of restoring the Everglades.

Argentinian black and white tegu

(Photo: Getty Images)

How to control this invasive species?

Trapping was the main method used by the National Park Service (NPS) and other partners to confine invasive tegu lizards outside of Everglades National Park for many years.

The number of traps set has doubled or tripled in recent decades due to major advances in trapping. Most traps have been improved to capture tegus more effectively.

Invasive plants and reptiles will not be welcome in Everglades restoration efforts. Tegu lizards and other exotic plants and animals continue to be of concern to Everglades National Park, which the NPS and its partners are working to reduce.

Working together to reduce the impacts of tegu on native wildlife and natural areas across landscapes, the FWC continues to take actions that prevent the establishment of new tegu populations through regulation, control efforts. systematic suppression within established populations and rapid response to confirmed sightings outside established ranges.

Associated article: Invasive species Argentinian tegu spreads in Florida and the southeastern United States

For more news, updates on tegu lizards and similar topics, be sure to follow Nature World News!

Comments are closed.