The purpose of the document is to highlight the pest status that non-native iguanas can contain and to emphasize the devastating environmental and economic impacts they can have. It also includes two further iguana species that have become invasive, namely the common spiny iguana (Ctenosaura similis) and the Guerreran spiny-tailed iguana (Ctenosaura pectinata).
Invasive green iguanas have been documented to cause infrastructure damage as well as threatening regional biodiversity by defoliating certain trees and shrubs. They are also a threat to food security in some regions. Once established, they can increase their numbers exponentially in a reasonably short timeframe.
This document offers a position statement with recommendations to tropical and subtropical countries on the management of invasive populations and a request to raise awareness in countries where this species in kept in captivity.
Green iguanas are listed under Category 2 in the National List of Invasive Species and require a permit issued by the Department of Environmental Affairs if kept in KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Limpopo and the Eastern Cape.
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