The Chiayi County Government is offering a bounty to people who capture or kill exotic lizards in an attempt to protect the local ecology.
In response to a perceived environmental threat posed by invasive alien species, the county government said it launched the program to encourage the capture or killing of brown anoles and the green iguanas, two invasive species in Taiwan.
The county government said it would offer NT$3 for each brown anole, NT$150 for each green iguana with a body length shorter than 50cm and NT$500 for each green iguana with a body length of 50cm or longer.
The county government said it would begin purchasing the reptiles — dead or alive — on Wednesday next week, then every Friday from Sept. 23 to Oct. 21.
The brown anole is native to Cuba and the Bahamas. It was first observed in Chiayi in 2000. It is commonly seen on tree trunks and shrubs and is said to threaten native lizard species by competing for limited resources.
The green iguana is native to Central and South America. The lizard is often kept as a house pet, but an increasing number of the reptiles have been abandoned in recent years. They are often seen along the Pachang River (八掌溪) and feed on crops and vegetables, causing damage to the environment, the county government said.
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