If they don’t, they could find themselves in the same unenviable situation Grand Cayman is in – overrun with the invasive species of iguanas, which will threaten the lives of the native rock iguanas.
The problem on Grand Cayman was that, until 2010, it will illegal to kill any iguanas in the Cayman Islands. The legislation protecting all iguanas was written before the greenies showed up and became a pest. Lawmakers dallied too long in changing the legislation, giving the greenies time to reproduce and invade.
Green iguanas are just now showing up on the Brac and Little Cayman and the alarm has been raised with the Department of Environment.
While DoE staff should be aware of sightings of greenies, residents on the two Sister Islands shouldn’t wait on staff to eradicate the pests; they should be doing it themselves. They have the amended Animals Law to do it.
It’s too late to even think about culling green iguanas from Grand Cayman, but it is incumbent on residents in the Sisters to take control and take charge.
The invasion of greenies to the Sister Islands should serve as a wake-up call to our lawmakers who have yet to adopt comprehensive conservation legislation despite rhetoric and empty campaign promises.
The Cayman Islands has to be prepared to rid its shores of invasive animal and plant species before they become a nuisance to our native flora and fauna.
We’ve managed to pull the Blue Iguana back from the brink of extinction on Grand Cayman. Such efforts shouldn’t be necessary on the Sister Islands just because the greenies have found their way across the sea.
We aren’t advocating animal cruelty, but – like the lionfish – they don’t belong here and create nothing but a threat.
Those on the Sister Islands who spot green iguanas are urged to do all they can to rid the Islands of them and call the iguana hotline at 917-7744. While the DoE can’t cull every green iguana on the Sister Islands, it does need to be aware of them.