Miami Beach considers 'dead or alive' bounty on invasive iguanas

The commissioner said that "it's a better use of our money" to pay for a bounty program rather than a professional removal service.

Published: September 19, 2022 7:28am

Updated: September 19, 2022 10:12am

Officials in Miami Beach, Florida, are considering a proposal to put a bounty on invasive iguanas that they say are causing "significant damage" to the city, including undermining seawalls and building foundations.

"I do think we have one solution and that is to put a bounty on the iguanas and pay people [to] bring in iguanas," Miami Beach Commissioner Kristen Gonzalez said Wednesday at a council meeting, Fox News reported. "Dead or alive – if we pay per iguana, we’re going to get more iguanas. People are going to go out and hunt them for money." 

She argued the bounty idea would be more successful than hiring a contractor whose hunt-and-kill process would be limited to public properties.

"I think that’s the better use of our money than hiring some guy with a raccoon cap, five guys with raccoon caps that are going to go around to the public properties," Gonzales said.

Iguanas do not have any natural predators in Florida, which has allowed them to "multiply in record numbers, causing significant damage along the entire Florida coastline," according to an agenda for last week's Miami Beach City Commissioners Meeting.

The culling proposal on the agenda states: "The shooting of iguanas with pellet guns or otherwise is strictly prohibited. Euthanasia of iguanas must be conducted off-site safely and humanely."

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