Monday, February 15, 2010

Cold weather kills off Florida wildlife

Suzanne Goldenberg in the Guardian (UK): Comatose iguanas have been dropping from the trees and pythons have frozen to death in their tracks in Florida's unusually harsh winter, wildlife officials said today. Parts of the Sunshine State saw their second snowfall of the season this weekend, with the extended cold spells killing off a host of tropical intruders, including iguanas, Burmese and African pythons and invasive fish.

State wildlife officials said more than half of the green iguanas, which are native to South America, could have been killed off. "The iguanas up in the trees just got so cold, they kind of went very, very sluggish, and just fell down," said Jenny Tinnell, a biologist with Florida's Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Residents of south Florida, who have discovered the animals on their patios, have tried to warm them back to life. Local newspapers, meanwhile, have been warning homeowners not to let their dogs gnaw on iguana corpses, which may be poisonous….

Iguana iguana seen in Fern Forest, Florida. This lizard was seen in the wild altough it is not a native species in the area. Shot by Korali, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative CommonsAttribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license


Auto Movers said...

This extremely cold weather has been a big mess for everyone in Florida. I work in the auto transport industry and while Florida is our home, our trucks are having weather related problems when they are in the northeast. For the residents of Florida, like myself, we are not used to this bitter cold weather.

Chris said...

I'm not from the US so this really surprised me. Here, Florida is known as the sunny capital of the US. This must be another evidence of climate change then. It's scary to speculate what will happen next.