Wed, Feb 15, 2017 - Page 14 News List

Lizard legion transforms village into Jurassic Park
上千綠鬣蜥出沒 內溪變侏儸紀公園

A green iguana captured in Chiayi County’s Shueishang Township is pictured on Nov. 30 last year.
嘉義縣水上鄉捕捉到的綠鬣蜥,攝於去年十一月三十日。

Photo: Lin Yi-chang, Liberty Times
照片:自由時報記者林宜樟

Chiayi County’s Shueishang Township and other areas along the Bajhang River have now turned into a paradise for exotic reptiles, with countless brown anoles and close to 1,000 green iguanas infesting the areas as a result of owners abandoning their pet lizards, allowing them to proliferate and form groups. Many locals joke that the place is turning into a Jurassic Park.

The green iguanas became popular pets in Taiwan ten years ago, but it seems that in recent years many of them have been set free by their owners. The abandoned lizards have since inhabited the main gutter in Shueishang Township’s Neisi Village, living in groups and feeding on fruit and vegetables grown by local farmers. Their eggs are often found in local cemeteries. It is estimated that there are now close to 1,000 green iguanas living in Neisi.

Head of the Neisi Village Huang Wen-cheng notes that the green iguanas were first found in the village’s main gutter about 6 or 7 years ago when a villager saw them and reported this to him. Huang is now an expert at capturing the lizards, having captured over 50 of them. He sends the captured green iguanas to agricultural agencies and academic institutions for research.

(Liberty Times, translated by Tu Yu-An)

嘉義縣八掌溪沿岸包括水上鄉等行政區,宛如外來種爬蟲類的樂園,沙氏變色蜥數量不知凡幾,綠鬣蜥估計上千隻,追根溯源與飼主棄養、群聚繁衍等有關,不少鄉親苦笑「快變成侏羅紀公園了」。

十年前台灣盛行飼養外來種的綠鬣蜥,近年來出現大量棄養情形,導致嘉義縣水上鄉內溪大排附近已出現群聚族群,吃掉不少農民種植的水果和蔬菜;當地墓地裡也常有綠鬣蜥下卵繁殖,粗估此區域現在已有上千隻棲息。

據水上鄉內溪村長黃文正觀察,六、七年前內溪大排乍現綠鬣蜥蹤跡,村民被嚇到向他反映;如今他已練就一身抓綠鬣蜥的功夫,累計捕捉超過五十隻,交給農政單位處理或學術機構進行研究。

(自由時報記者林宜樟)

Did you know?

你知道嗎?

The green iguana is a herbivorous species of lizard native to Central America, South America and the Caribbean. It can grow to more than two meters long, with a bodyweight of up to 4kg. The species was formally introduced to Taiwan more than ten years ago and soon became a popular pet due to its bright colors and dinosaur-like appearance. However, taking care of the green iguana can be very demanding, as it requires special lighting, temperature control and lots of space. As a result, many green iguanas have been abandoned as adults.

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