Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 082537
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File Number: 082537 File Type: Resolution Status: Adopted
Version: 0 Reference: R-1242-08 Control: Board of County Commissioners
File Name: CONCERNS OVER LARGE IGUANA POPULATION Introduced: 9/2/2008
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action: 11/20/2008
Agenda Date: 11/20/2008 Agenda Item Number: 11A4
Notes: Title: RESOLUTION EXPRESSING CONCERNS OVER THE LARGE POPULATION OF GREEN IGUANAS IN THE COUNTY AND REQUESTING THAT THE FISH AND WILDLIFE CONSERVATION COMMISSION ENACT REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE POSSESSION, DISTRIBUTION AND RELEASE OF GREEN IGUANAS WITHIN THE STATE; PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE
Indexes: NONE
Sponsors: Katy Sorenson, Prime Sponsor
  Sally A. Heyman, Co-Sponsor
  Rebeca Sosa, Co-Sponsor
Sunset Provision: No Effective Date: Expiration Date:
Registered Lobbyist: None Listed


Legislative History

Acting Body Date Agenda Item Action Sent To Due Date Returned Pass/Fail

Board of County Commissioners 11/20/2008 11A4 Adopted P

Budget and Finance Committee 10/14/2008 2J Forwarded to BCC with a favorable recommendation P
REPORT: Assistant County Attorney Jess McCarty read the foregoing proposed resolution into the record. Commissioner Sorenson noted the green iguanas were interfering with the indigenous wildlife in the County. Following comments by Commissioner Diaz in support of this proposed resolution, Commissioner Sosa asked that she be listed as a co-sponsor. She noted the green iguana had a significant impact on the residents in her district. She pointed out other animals would replace iguanas if the iguanas were eliminated. Commissioner Gimenez noted the County should make it illegal to have an iguana as a pet. He questioned what specific action the County would take to resolve the iguana concern. He asked Assistant County Attorney Jess McCarty to determine whether the green iguana was a protected species, and whether the county had the authority to eliminate the species, as well as provide him with a report regarding the action taken by Broward County regarding the green iguana. Hearing no other questions or comments, the Committee proceeded to vote.

County Attorney 9/3/2008 Referred Budget and Finance Committee 10/14/2008

County Attorney 9/3/2008 Assigned Robert A. Duvall 9/2/2008

Legislative Text


TITLE
RESOLUTION EXPRESSING CONCERNS OVER THE LARGE POPULATION OF GREEN IGUANAS IN THE COUNTY AND REQUESTING THAT THE FISH AND WILDLIFE CONSERVATION COMMISSION ENACT REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE POSSESSION, DISTRIBUTION AND RELEASE OF GREEN IGUANAS WITHIN THE STATE; PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE

BODY
WHEREAS, Miami-Dade County has become home to a large population of green iguanas, as have other counties in the region, with said population rapidly expanding; and
WHEREAS, green iguanas are an invasive species in Florida; and
WHEREAS, the large population of free roaming green iguanas in South Florida is largely the result of the pet trade and owners who have released or allowed the green iguanas to escape; and
WHEREAS, free roaming green iguanas often destroy gardens and landscaping and sometimes eat native endangered plants and plants that are the primary food source for endangered animals; and
WHEREAS, free roaming green iguanas pose a danger to the Florida Burrowing Owl, a species of special concern found in Miami-Dade County, by overtaking the owls’ burrows; and
WHEREAS, free roaming green iguanas dig burrows that undermine sidewalks, foundations, and seawalls, which may lead to the erosion and eventual collapse of seawalls; and
WHEREAS, green iguanas are large powerful animals with sharp teeth and claws that may pose a danger to people and pets; and
WHEREAS, the large numbers of free roaming green iguanas in Miami-Dade County have caused damage to property and created sanitary nuisances within the County; and
WHEREAS, the Florida Constitution vests the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conversation Commission with the authority and responsibility to regulate wild animal life such as the green iguana; and
WHEREAS, Miami-Dade County, therefore, has limited authority to control the possession, distribution, release and propagation of green iguanas within its borders,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, that this Board wishes to express their concerns to the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission regarding the widespread population of green iguanas within the County and the region and requests that the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission designate iguanas as “Reptiles of Concern” under the Florida Administrative Code or enact appropriate rules and regulations designed to control the possession, distribution, release and propagation of iguanas throughout the state.



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