Daniel Galan Kercado, secretary of the Department of Natural Resources for Puerto Rico says they are planning to capture, kill, and process over 4 million iguanas as a meat product to Latino and Asian markets in the United States.
I've never eaten iguana before, although I'm sure you could get some lovely steaks from the alligator sized ones roaming the Mona Island just off the Puerto Rican coast! Monsters! P.S. It's a preserve, by the way, so don't get any ideas.
I say a big thumbs up to the plan. I know that animal activists will not be crazy about the move; however, the iguanas are an invasive species whose population is growing rapidly. They lack natural predators and are very well adapted to the Puerto Rican environment - quite similar to the python issue in the Florida Everglades. Apparently the green big boys can be quite destructive, damaging crops, building structures, and causing various different nuisances! Big boys? Yes - apparently up to 1.5 meters!
They join other nuisances in Puerto Rico, including the escaped Rhesus monkeys, pythons, and (rumored) alligators, TBD.
The source article mentions a plan to recruit volunteers to capture the iguanas. That's the part where my enthusiasm wanes a bit. Do the financials make sense? Can the collection, processing, and transport to the US be done at a low enough cost per lb to make the project economically viable?
How much are iquanas selling for per lb in the USA?
If it all works out, let's just hope they don't get any ideas about the out of control stray dog population!