Florida's wildlife and human populations are encountering each other more often than ever before, and the circumstances which create nuisance wildlife situations are as varied as the environment of Florida itself.
Nonnative species do not belong in Florida. Some do not cause many, if any, problems. Others, however, are invasive, meaning that they negatively impact native fish and wildlife, cause damage that is costly to repair, or pose a threat to human health and safety.
Green iguanas (Iguana iguana) are an invasive species in Florida and are not native to our state. They can cause considerable damage to infrastructure, including seawalls and sidewalks. This species is not protected in Florida except by anti-cruelty law. For species and regulatory information regarding the green iguana, click here.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I remove iguanas from my property?
Green iguanas are not protected in Florida except by anti-cruelty laws and can be humanely killed on private property year-round with landowner permission. The FWC encourages removal of green iguanas from private properties by landowners. Members of the public may also remove and kill iguanas from 22 FWC managed public lands without a license or permit under Executive Order 17-11. Captured iguanas cannot be relocated and released at other locations in Florida. Homeowners that trap iguanas on their property may be able to obtain euthanasia services from local exotic veterinarians, humane societies or animal control offices depending on the location and availability of services. If you are not capable of safely removing iguanas from your property, please seek assistance from a professional nuisance wildlife trapper.
How can I deter green iguanas from frequenting my property?
If you have an iguana frequenting your area, you can take steps to deter the animal such as modifying the habitat around your home or humanely harassing the animal. Examples of effective habitat modification and harassment include:
- Removing plants that act as attractants
- Filling in holes to discourage burrowing
- Hanging wind chimes or other items that make intermittent noises
- Hanging CDs that have reflective surfaces
- Spraying the animals with water as a deterrent
View the FWC presentation Iguana Technical Assistance for Homeowners.
What if I own a pet iguana that I can no longer care for?
Escaped or released pets remain a primary source of introduced species in Florida, although it is illegal to introduce nonnative species into the state. Through the FWC’s Exotic Pet Amnesty Program, pet owners who are either unable to care for their exotic pets, such as green iguanas, or who no longer wish to keep them can surrender them with no questions asked and without penalties regardless of whether those pets are kept legally or illegally. Surrendered pets are adopted to new owners who have been pre-qualified and who have any required permits. The EPAP helps reduce the number of nonnative species being released into the wild by pet owners and fosters responsible pet ownership, giving pet owners an ethical and ecologically sound alternative to releasing an exotic animal.
Coyotes help maintain balanced ecosystems by controlling the populations of rodents and smaller predators, such as foxes, opossums and raccoons, which naturally occur in higher densities and can quickly overpopulate areas of habitat. Coyotes are native to North America, have been in Florida for many years, and will continue to make their homes around the state.
Removing coyotes for the purpose of eradication is an inefficient and ineffective method to control populations. New coyotes move into areas where others have been removed. Removal activities such as hunting and trapping place pressure on coyote populations, and the species responds by reproducing at a younger age and producing more pups per litter; populations can quickly return to their original size.
For more information on coyotes in Florida, visit the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's page here.