Reptiles Invade Southwest Florida County

NAPLES, Fla. (AP) – Collier County has a bigger reptile problem than anyone thought, as biologists searching for the nonnative tegu lizard have found another exotic species.

The Naples Daily News reports that both monitor lizards and tegus have been found in the county. Left unchecked, the different invading lizards could pose a risk to native wildlife in the area.

Last week, the county’s second tegu was discovered. Monitor lizards were also spotted. Collier officials’ traps are too small to catch the monitor lizard, so the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has asked to borrow a bigger one from the lizard trappers in Cape Coral.

Cape Coral is home to a population of Nile monitor lizards estimated to number close to 1,000 and has been established since at least 1990.