The federal Wildlife Services program killed 2.7 million animals in 2016. In its annual “kill report,” the agency data shows that 1.6 million of the 2.7 million deaths were of native wildlife species. Wildlife Services maintains that it “manages the damages” caused by so-called invasive species, yet less than half of the animals in the report are actually considered invasive. The Center for Biological Diversity asserts that of the almost 3 million animals killed yearly, many are unintentional kills that include household pets.
The green iguana, found in South Florida, where I live, is considered to be an invasive species. Despite the rather benign behavior of these docile creatures, local citizens view them as pests. Iguana hunting, especially in South Florida, is legal. Homeowners possess the right to “kill-on-sight” if they believe that an iguana is becoming a nuisance.