NewsSarasota, Manatee County


Green iguanas spotted on Anna Maria Island

Posted at 3:23 PM, Apr 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-29 05:16:48-04

ANNA MARIA ISLAND, Fla. -- Manatee County trappers are on Anna Maria Island trying to capture at least three green iguanas.

The lizards have been seen in the trees and on the beach.

“A green iguana is a surprise especially if you are from up north and not used to seeing reptiles in the wild,” said Parks Manager Michael Elswick.

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Resident Bill Hazleton said he couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw the photos of the iguanas on the beach.

"I’ve never seen an iguana like that, I didn’t even know they were around here,” Hazleton said.

Elswick believes the iguanas are escaped pets. He said the green iguana doesn’t harm people or other animals.

County crews are worried about another iguana species that has been spotted as close as south Sarasota County. Elswick said the black spiny tailed iguana will eat sea turtle eggs. They are setting up a trapping program in case they are seen in Manatee County.

“It’s likely that we will see them sooner or later, its definitely on our radar,” Elswick said.

He said you can download FWC’s app to report iguana sightings on Apple or Android smartphones or tablets from the App Store and Google Play.