provided to The Santiva Chronicle
The City of Sanibel is a sanctuary island that lives in harmony with our native wildlife and landscapes. By removing invasive green iguanas, we are preserving native vegetation and protecting our native wildlife from displacement.
To authorize the trapper access to your private property to lethally remove iguanas, use the link below and complete the trapper request form. Be sure to indicate the location (plant species, location on property) and time frame of day you frequently see the iguanas on the property on the City form to ensure we have all the best information to increase success of any future trapping events. Iguanas are creatures of habit and typically frequent the same preferred areas daily.
Please only submit a removal request form if you are the property owner of the address to which you are requesting removal assistance. The City is not collecting information on sightings of iguanas at this time. City staff monitors parks and right-of-way for iguanas and these iguanas are removed accordingly.
The City trapper works on the island one day a week. The City contracted trapper does not respond immediately to requests for iguana removal. The current turnaround time for a trapping event is approximately one to two weeks which fluctuates throughout the year depending on the volume of reports.
For questions about iguanas or the City’s Iguana Removal Program, email Conservation Officer, Veronica Runge at Veronica.Runge@mysanibel.com.
Tips to effectively manage iguanas on your property:
• In accordance with FWC and state wildlife laws, property owners may also hire a nuisance wildlife trapper directly to address iguana issues beyond the scope of the City’s Green Iguana Removal Program. For more information about licensed nuisance wildlife trappers on Sanibel, email Conservation Officer Veronica Runge at Veronica.Runge@mysanibel.com.
• Iguanas generally are attracted to tropical plants from the islands and South America where they are native. Removing exotic plants such as hibiscus, gardenia, bougainvillea, turf grass, Brazilian pepper (invasive), and any tropical fruiting plants such as mangos, can be an effective way to reduce iguana activity in your yard permanently.
• Placing reflective devices in areas where iguanas are regularly observed and using a garden hose or sound devices whenever possible to haze iguanas will discourage their presence on your property.
• Property owners are also encouraged to click on the links below to view guidelines from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) on iguana prevention, exclusion, deterrents, habitat modification, and iguana capture.
a. FWC- Iguana Technical Assistance for Homeowners:
b. FWC Iguanas of Florida Brochure: Iguanas in Florida (myfwc.com)
c. Iguana ID Guide: Exotic Lizard Identification. (mysanibel.com)
How does this iguana removal program work? What does the City trapper look like and what are his responsibilities?
• The City of Sanibel Natural Resources Department catalogs each iguana report using the information on the form submitted by the property owner including location on the owner’s property, time of day the iguana is seen, and the activity observed (foraging, sunning, burrowing, etc). The information is provided to the City trapper each week.
• The trapper notifies the Sanibel Police Dispatcher of his location while working on Sanibel. The contracted City trapper wears a lime green shirt, which identifies him with writing, “Sanibel Lizard Control Program.” The contracted City trapper’s vehicle has a magnetic sign that reads “Sanibel Lizard Control Program.”
• The trapper contacts the Sanibel Police Department upon completion of each daily activity and reports his actions. The report is reviewed by the Natural Resources Department and accounted in the City database where Natural Resources staff track removal reports specific to each property.
• The trapper typically visits the property once a week for two weeks. If iguanas are still present, property owner are encouraged to file a new report.