The greeni iguana (Iguana iguana) is a highly invasive exotic lizard that is firmly established in southern Florida. We documented the colonization pattern of this species at Hugh Taylor Birch State Park (HTBSP) in southern mainland Florida. First seen at the park in 1994, individual lizards were few in number, large in body size, and seen only in trees well above the ground. Shortly after the removal of an extremely high-density raccoon population at HTBSP in November 2000, mixed size-classes of green iguanas were observed often and in high numbers. Results of a survey conducted during August 2006–January 2007 corroborated the high relative abundance and size-structure of a growing population of green iguanas, and their increased terrestrialism following the removal of a native mammalian predator. Conversely, we hypothesize that indigenous threatened green iguana populations in the Caribbean would be beneficiaries of exotic raccoon removal, particularly on relatively isolated sites similar to that investigated in this study.
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Vol. 45 • No. 1