As I mentioned, I am a licensed trapper for
the state of Florida. In January 2013, as part of a
national campaign to educate the public on the consequences
of releasing pets in the wild and focusing attention on
the python problem in the Everglades, the Sate sponsored the Python Challenge. As a media event, it was a huge
success. My company, Alligator Associates, Inc., has a long
history and background working with Florida native reptiles
and non-native invasives.
In 2014, I will be shifting time and resources to focus
exclusively on the effort to protect our natives from a threat
potiental far greater than that of pythons in the wild.
Tupinambis merianae ( Argentine Black and White Tegu )
is an extremely intelligent carnivorus predatory lizard.
Tegus grow to over four feet in length, are agile and fast on
land or water. They can climb trees and are very efficent
at digging and removing prey animals from the nest.
In short, Tegus are in a class by themselves.
However, this does not mean they should be killed
if there is an alternative.
The history of Tegus in South Florida is somewhat unique,
in that we know the backgound and source location for the entire population.
Fortunately, diligent effort by Florida Wildlife Commission (FWC), United States Geoloical Survey (USGS), Universy of Florida (UF),South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) has provided invaluable data by tracking the
expanding range and size of the original group.
National Geographic Tegu shoot End-of-day wrap. Airing spring 2014