Commissioner Sosa urges ban on the sale of Tegu Lizards in Florida
The Board of County Commissioners unanimously supported Commissioner Sosa’s resolution urging the Florida Legislature to place a ban on the sale of Argentine Black and White Tegus in Florida. The measure also calls upon the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to further address the spread of this invasive species in the Everglades.
Since 2009, the Argentine black and white tegu, a large omnivorous species of lizard native to South America has been increasingly documented in the wild. The lizard is yet another exotic animal part of the international pet trade market that has made its way into the Everglades. Similar to the well documented Burmese python, it poses a direct threat to the delicate balance of the Everglades Ecosystem. However, the tegu can withstand colder temperatures, potentially giving it greater ability to spread its population. Thus, Commissioner Sosa’s legislation requests the Florida Legislature to ban all sales of the tegu throughout the state and implores the FWC to explore additional measures in reducing their breeding populations.
“Exotic animals continue to threaten our most precious natural resources,” said Commissioner Sosa. “They disrupt the natural food chain jeopardizing our native wildlife, and cause great burden to residents in affected areas. Our government must do its part and all of us should as well. If you see an exotic animal like the tegu or python please call the exotic species hotline (1-888-483-4681) and report its location.”
Link to legislation: http://www.miamidade.gov/govaction/legistarfiles/Matters/Y2016/160095.pdf