MAP: Florida’s iguana invasion is heating up

Iguana spotted in Merritt Island

Green iguana (Pixlr)

ORLANDO, Fla. – There seem to be more green lizards in the Sunshine State and they’re making their way north.

Florida Fish and Wildlife are tracking the state’s green iguana population and it seems that its moving further up the state, according to recent reports.

Green iguanas are an invasive species in Florida and typically seen in tropical environments. The lizards were first reported in the 1960s in the South Florida cities of Hialeah, Coral Gables and Key Biscayne, according to the FWC.

One was recently spotted in Merritt Island in Brevard County.

In front of the merritt island mall this green iguana was roaming around. I didn’t know they made it this far north. Maybe an escaped pet.

Posted by Steven Connell on Sunday, February 23, 2020

The FWC has not been able to confirm if it was a pet that was released or part of a newly established population. The FWC website said South Florida’s extensive man-made canal system serves as an ideal dispersal corridor to help iguanas colonize new areas.

The FWC uses the University of Georgia’s Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health as a resource for tracking green iguanas and what areas they’re moving toward. It reveals increasing reports of iguanas in the Lakeland area and along Florida’s east coast.

Use the interactive map below to see where iguanas are popping up in Central Florida.