U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


Date of this Version

July 2007


Published in Herpetological Conservation and Biology 2(2):149-156.


We examined the demographic response of the Green Iguana (Iguana iguana) to the removal of Raccoons in an urban maritime state park in southern Florida. The rapid growth of iguanas to sexual maturity in an underexploited, if not vacant, niche contributed to the rapid recruitment of a large and growing population during the four and one half years since removal of its limiting predator. We proffer here that at sites where Green Iguanas and high density Raccoons are syntopic, future Raccoon removal programs should be concurrent with an equally concerted effort to remove resident Green Iguanas. In this fashion, by replacing one limiting predator with another, a population explosion can be prevented and an advantage can be maintained in the local control of this exotic species.