After thousands of our supporters in Florida wrote and called their legislators urging support for tegus and green iguanas, Governor Ron DeSantis has signed into law the bill that will save these animals from the exotic pet trade.
Green iguanas and tegus will now be spared a lifetime of captivity living as exotic pets in Florida.
Back in February we alerted our supporters to the legislation that would end the sale and keeping of these animals in Florida, thereby helping to protect Florida’s native wildlife from these harmful invasive species. Earlier this month it became the law!
Irresponsible exotic pet owners often release animals into the wild when the animals become too large or too expensive to care for. Iguanas and tegus reproduce in large numbers and present a threat to native wild animals by competing with the animals for food and eating the eggs of other species.
Invasive species are the second leading cause of animal population decline and extinction worldwide. They have contributed directly to the decline of 42% of threatened and endangered species in the United States.
The United States spends an estimated $120 billion each year to detect, collect, and remove invasive species. Some estimates reflect that Floridians spend more than $500 million dollars a year trying to control invasive species.
Aside from their impact on native wildlife, green iguanas and tegus will now be spared a lifetime of captivity living as exotic pets in Florida. These lizards have specialized diets and temperature preferences and suffer when their natural conditions are not replicated in a domestic setting. A recent study found that 5.3% of iguanas and 9.7% of tegus die in their first year in someone’s home.
Thanks to everyone who took action to help save green iguanas and tegus from a lifetime of misery in the exotic pet trade. Your action really does make a difference.