Frozen iguanas falling out of trees as icy weather hits Florida

Clay Curtis
January 22, 2020

'I do know that there are several iguana hunters that are looking forward to this upcoming cold front as it will certainly facilitate them removing these invasive reptiles from the South Florida environment as they will not be able to run away'.

Iguanas, like other lizards, are cold-blooded and are subject to a phenomenon called "cold stunning".

"Definitely there were residents waking up to them next to their pool or falling on the ground stiff", he said. Sub-freezing temperatures as low as 30 degrees Fahrenheit are expected through to sunrise, as well as north winds ranging between 15 to 20 miles per hour.

They've been in South Florida since the 1960s, but their numbers have increased dramatically in recent years. However, with the colder weather many Iguana in the state could die if temperatures stay at 45 degrees F for more than eight hours.

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The service said that although the stunned creatures may appear to have met their end, "they are not dead". Their whole body slows down in colder temperatures with only critical body functions working. "Generally speaking, the larger the iguana, the more cold it can tolerate for longer periods".

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has declared open season on the iguanas, writing on its website that it encourages homeowners to remove them from their property, while killing them on public lands is permissible without a license.

Iguanas are a common sight in Florida and are considered a nuisance, often being blamed for harming populations of butterflies and snails and digging burrows that damage infrastructure.

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