Video for your iPod or Quicktime player. See an Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake cross my path.

video of eastern diamondback rattle snake
Iguana invasion of Gasparilla Island, Florida
laptop noise music

Iguanas Invade Gasparilla Island, Florida!
They were brought here by man. They adapted. They multiplied.

Video from my April 2007 trip:
image of spiny tail iguana on Gasparilla Island

Gasparilla Island, Florida. Black spiny-tailed iguanas outnumber the island human residents by an estimated 10 to 1. That's right. 10 lizards to every 1 person. These iguanas were introduced to the island about 30 years ago and have adapted well to the island's semi tropical environment. In recent years, the iguanas have gone from being a curiosity to a serious problem. With populations around 10,000 it's pretty easy to spot a spiny tailed iguana just about anywhere on the island.

I first visited the island in April of 2006. Armed with a MiniDV camcorder, I captured footage of several iguanas. Capturing the iguanas themselves was much harder. They're smart and very fast. They easily avoided me by darting with a lightning like speed into a burrow, drainage pipe, or dense underbrush. So much for close-ups.

April of 2007, I returned. This time my wife and I had more time to spend on the island. My guess is that we spotted around 200 iguanas of various sizes, but mostly juveniles. Here's some still images from my video shot on March 31 and April 1 of 2007. More information below....

large spiny tail iguana
spiny tailed iguana
juvenile spiny tailed iguana
Big Issue: These iguanas eat native bird and turtle eggs.
Possible solution: Make temporary fences / barriers around nesting sites to keep the iguanas out.

Other issues:

They burrow in the sand dunes and other places.
Possible solution: Plant more sea oats and other native trees to strengthen the dunes.

They bite, claw and whip their tails which can injure people.
Possible solution: They do those things if you pick one up. Other than that, these iguanas usually flee from humans. Don't try to pick up or handle a wild iguana. Besides, they're much faster than you.

They eat the landscaping.
Possible solution: Plant things that iguanas don't like to eat.

They carry salmonella and can spread it through contact with them or their feces.
Possible solution: Don't pick up iguanas. Or, if you're willing to assume the risk of bite, claw, and tail whip, wash your hands thoroughly afterward. And what shit doesn't contain some kind of disease?

They have no natural predators so their numbers will grow unchecked.
Maybe: I imagine that hawks and opsrey would love to eat the smaller iguanas when possible. Also, iguanas on the mainland will have to deal with the American Alligator. I'm sure that alligators will quickly acquire a taste for iguana.

As you can tell, I'm against an all out killing of these animals. They can be humanely controlled. Besides WE brought them here. It's our fault!
young black spiny tailed iguana
All images and video by Michael Oster © 2007, all rights reserved.

Michael Oster

When he's not documenting prehistoric-looking reptile "invasions", Michael can usually be found in his studio creating strange sounds and then unleashing them on the internet via the Difficult Listening Channel.

Michael Oster
iguana on Gasparilla Island Florida
black spiny tailed iguana
introduced iguana species in Florida
my laptop noise setup

Have a quick look at my laptop noise setup....

Old video:

Here are links to more stories and information on the "iguana invasion":

CBS 4 Miami - Iguana Invasion in Hialeah dubbed "Jurassic Park" - June 16, 2007

FoxNews story on April 17, 2006

TCPalm News / AP - April 13, 2006

Naples News - FGCU Professor - April 21, 2006

Skye Puppy Blog - April 19, 2006

TBO News - Lizards on the Loose - April 9, 2006

Boca Beacon - Tampa Student Letters - April 21, 2006

iguana video mp4

Iguana video - mp4 for ipods and Quicktime 7 - [11 Mb]

iguana video mov

Iguana video - mov for older versions of Quicktime - [8 Mb]

contact: noise@laptopnoise.com

This website and its contents are
copyright © 2008 Michael Oster, all rights reserved.

brought to you by F7 Sound and Vision

F7 Sound and Vision
17732 Nathan's Drive
Tampa, FL 33647

Iguanas of Boca Grande Florida
Iguanas of Boca Grande
April 2008 - "INVASION" UPDATE
I went back to Gasparilla Island. There are fewer iguanas, but the some have made it to the mainland. Sightings of black spiny-tailed iguanas from as far north as Sarasota County.