For the first time, the management of the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park is seeking official help to cull green iguanas.
John Lawrus, the park’s general manager, explained that the greens are removed on a regular basis by a private culler who volunteers his services and does not collect the per-head bounty on the iguanas, but the rise in number of the invasive species has prompted the call for assistance.
The park will be closed to visitors the entire day on Wednesday, 2 Oct., to facilitate the cull.
While there has not been a survey done to confirm the population of green iguanas at the park, Lawrus said, “There has been a noticeable increase in hatchlings.”
The Department of Environment is coordinating the exercise, he added, and the cullers will be arranged through DoE.
Fred Burton, head of the DoE’s terrestrial resources unit, explained that department staff will be on hand to ensure the park’s native blue iguanas are not targeted by mistake.
Lawrus stressed the importance of protecting the blues’ habitat from the invasive species, due to the observed upturn in greens.
“We need to do an intensive full-range cull over a full day,” he said.