Florida Warned of Iguanas Falling From the Trees As the Cold Weather Continues

Toby Hazlewood

A sign of extreme-cold in Florida

As the unusually cold weather continues to sweep across South Florida, weather forecasters are warning the public to be on the lookout for iguanas falling from the trees. Temperatures across the state have plunged to lows not usually experienced in the sunshine state - there were warnings of 32 degrees in South Florida on January 30.

Such extremes are enough for the cold-blooded reptiles to start to seize up while sleeping in the trees. And when they seize up, there's a danger of them falling while they're asleep!

Falling frozen iguanas - the equivalent of 'raining cats and dogs'?

This isn't the first time that Floridians have been warned to be on the alert for the falling reptiles. When the weather's this cold - as happens occasionally - weather forecasters sound the alert. Falling iguanas have become synonymous with extremes of cold in Florida.

If they encounter the iguanas, residents of the state are being warned against approaching them - they can grow up to 5 feet long and weigh up to 25 pounds, and could easily injure humans (once they've warmed up and regained mobility). It's far better to just leave them alone.

Iguanas - an invasive species

While they may appear exotic, iguanas are classified as an invasive species by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).

They first appeared in the state in the 1960s and are known to cause damage to residential and commercial landscape vegetation. They are particularly attracted to trees with foliage or flowers, most fruits (except citrus) and almost any vegetable.

They've also been known to cause damage to sidewalks and the foundations of buildings too, through digging burrows that erode the land. Some might feel that it wouldn't be so bad then, if the cold weather thinned-out the iguana population a little!

Have you seen an iguana fall from the trees? How are you coping with the unseasonably cold weather in Florida right now? Let me know in the comments section below.

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