The war between the invasive iguanas and the people of Florida continues as an unfortunate event in Palm Beach that happened on Wednesday, December 7. Local newspaper Sun Sentinel reports that a rogue iguana caused a large-scale power outage in Lake Worth Beach after climbing onto a power grid’s transformer, which affected roughly 1,400 households in the area.
The reptile sadly died after hitting its tail on the transformer. The power was out for about half an hour before authorities sorted the issue. These reptilian nemeses are always willing to lay it all on the line quite literally, which led authorities to look for ways to address the problem of invasive iguanas in the state.
Wanted: Iguanas Dead or Alive
Ben Kerr, a spokesperson for the city of Lake Worth Beach, told the news outlet that nothing is going to survive that incident and that pictures of dead iguanas are horrible every time this happens.
It turns out that incidents, like this, usually happen and are a pretty big problem due to the large size of the reptiles. Iguanas are considered an invasive species in Florida because they are not native to the area and cause a huge problem.
A city commissioner in Miami announced earlier this year a new bounty plan that offers residents or hunters for bringing in iguanas dead or alive to solve the problem.
These reptiles may be incredible climbers, but they are too big to cover two power lines at once, which triggers a massive short circuit. More so, they are too heavy that which will also result in a short circuit in the event they make it to a transformer, says Kerr.
He added that a bird or small animal in the system would not cause a power outage that big. Carcasses of dead iguanas are needed to be manually removed by energy professionals for the issue to be resolved.
Futurism reported that several areas have already installed “hardening” measures to protect city power lines and other critical infrastructures from iguanas. But this week’s event proves that it does not have a 100% success rate. Nonetheless, there are only three power outages this year due to iguanas, which is a 60% decrease from last year.
How Did the Battle Between Iguanas and Florida Start?
According to Wildlife Troopers, iguanas are a big problem and are considered a nuisance in Florida as they cause damage to commercial and residential vegetation. They are mostly attracted to plants and flowers, foliage, and other vegetables as well as dig burrows on the roadside and next to drainage canals, shorting power lines, and leaving their droppings in outdoor pools.
They have become an invasive species in the state due to a combination of events. Ships carrying fruits from a small population of iguanas in Central and South America to Florida are one of the reasons.
Another one is that some iguanas escaped and became pets of people but then they also found their way to the wild after being released or they have escaped again. There in the wild these iguanas survived, multiplied, and thrived due to suitable weather conditions.
They can be seen hiding in the attics of houses, on the beach, in lawns and gardens, and using tree leaves as their habitat. But they usually fall off the tree because they lose their grip from being too cold and fall on the ground where they lay with their belly up.
This article by Margaret Davis was first published by The Science Times on 10 December 2022. Lead Image: (Photo : Pixabay/Counselling) Rogue Iguana Causes Massive Power Outage Before Dying: How Did They Become an Invasive Species in Florida?
What you can do
Support ‘Fighting for Wildlife’ by donating as little as $1 – It only takes a minute. Thank you.
Fighting for Wildlife supports approved wildlife conservation organizations, which spend at least 80 percent of the money they raise on actual fieldwork, rather than administration and fundraising. When making a donation you can designate for which type of initiative it should be used – wildlife, oceans, forests or climate.
Leave a Reply