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View Diary: The Daily Bucket: Florida's Invaders: The Brown Anole Lizard (118 comments)

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  •  I suppose it's mean of me to squish 'em . . . but (12+ / 0-)

    they're not supposed to be here, dammit, and we are already overrun with a bazillion invasive species.

    But of course the tiny number that I send to that big suburban park in the sky are nothing compared to the zillions of them already here, so it's at best just a symbolic gesture.

    In the end, reality always wins.

    by Lenny Flank on Mon Nov 11, 2013 at 09:28:08 AM PST

    •  Lenny, (11+ / 0-)

      you're tough as boiled owl.  I know folks who won't even squish a slug that laid waste to their tomatoes.

      This was a very informative and interesting diary. I wondered myself if the lizards ever floated on a log to Florida from Cuba, and by gosh, the diary discussed it.

      No lizards in NW Oregon, despite a sunny Sunday @ 60 degrees.

      Sunny and clear at 55 right now, 9 am, and getting warmer.

      BCCH and CBCH swarming at the bird feeders these days.

      (Chestnut-Backed and Black-Capped Chicadees, right?)

      I'm very proud that I stopped calling them sparrows.  I think that gives me two more species for the Backyard count, although I'm probably still in last place.

      “The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.” ― Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

      by 6412093 on Mon Nov 11, 2013 at 09:40:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  That's kinda what I was thinking, I'm watching the (9+ / 0-)

      Eurasian Collared Dove very carefully in my area as they just started invading a few years back....

      I've watched the population grow from a single pair to a flock now but so far I still have a full complement of Quail and White Wings, Mourning and Inca doves, lots of Thrashers and Cactus Wrens etc...so I haven't culled any yet.  I also have hens and a donkey so lots of water and food in the desert, a sure attractant....

      Starlings and Cowbirds go when I see them and so far no flocks out here though the city is swarming with both......However, these Collared's sure look like a tasty morsel...Those things are as big as fat city pigeons!   Might make a nice diet supplement some day....

      Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
      I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
      Emiliano Zapata

      by buddabelly on Mon Nov 11, 2013 at 09:41:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  in all seriousness, Florida has responded to the (12+ / 0-)

        invasion of Lionfish (Pterois volitans) by publishing a cookbook with recipes, hoping people will catch them and eat them to reduce their numbers.

        Just watch out for the lethally-venomous spines, though . . .

        =:O

        In the end, reality always wins.

        by Lenny Flank on Mon Nov 11, 2013 at 09:47:37 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  as a kid I had a neighbor with Lionfish, till the (13+ / 0-)

          72 Sylmar earthquake that is.....they had to be careful on the living room rug for a bit till they got cleaned up........

          Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
          I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
          Emiliano Zapata

          by buddabelly on Mon Nov 11, 2013 at 10:03:48 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  In Oregon, (12+ / 0-)

          we need a cookbook for Nutria.

          “The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.” ― Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

          by 6412093 on Mon Nov 11, 2013 at 11:11:31 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  here you go, looks like there's a few to choose (11+ / 0-)

            from....I know they are regularly eaten in native areas, no reason we couldn't...
            Recipes for Nutria

            I saw it compared to feral hog so that's not bad. At least it doesn't "Taste like Chicken"  ....  feral hog is Lean, not tough if cooked properly and taken young like you should for truly succulent pork on the hoof.  If gamy that can be basically killed with various marinades.

            I wish we had the water to have to worry about nutria here, plus we are coyote infested almost as there's been large rabbit crops the last few years...good rain at the right times is what matters here since we get so little.  With all our yote's,  coydogs and cougar, I don't think Nutria would stand a hope in hell here except in town but the yotes run the entire city through the wash system......though if we had the water for nutria, the yotes, javalina and even deer would lose all their cross town pathways.... it's literally the equivalent of the street system in ability to get to a specific area from a specific area.

            Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
            I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
            Emiliano Zapata

            by buddabelly on Mon Nov 11, 2013 at 12:37:13 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'll wait until Mrs. 6 (9+ / 0-)

              is out of town before I try and cook nutria.

              Is feral hog different from boar, which we had on Saturday?

              “The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.” ― Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

              by 6412093 on Mon Nov 11, 2013 at 12:51:21 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  hogs pretty much taste like what they eat so if (7+ / 0-)

                they have good tasty forage, even a big old boar hog will be tasty cooked right.  The best though are young piglets about 125-150lbs at most for taste and tenderness...They haven't matured yet so the meat is sweet and in many places, there is an unlimited take due to the damage they cause.

                There aren't many if any true Russian Boars left as they've long interbred with ferals to create the very tough and destructive critters we have now ....Sometimes you'll see the old phenotype reemerge and have one that looks like a pure Russian but odds are it isn't....just like some look like Hampshires....

                You can find managed RB hunts at some High Fence ranches but otherwise, almost all ferals or wild hogs whichever you prefer are a mix that keeps getting new blood as hogs escape and go feral, something that hogs do faster than any other critter.....

                There's a Texas high fence ranch advertising here in Tucson on Backpage. under 200 bucks for 3 days 2 nights,  a guided hunt for feed supplemented and baited to a spot for the slaughter, basically, hogs.......2 big hogs and as many little piglets, 50 lbs or under, as you can shoot and clean.  

                With the recent price of meats, I'm almost tempted to make the trip just to fill the freezer for 200 bucks and a few rounds that I loaded myself so the cost is negligible.....

                I'm not hip to the ethics of high fence hunting myself but I see this more as helping to cull an extremely damaging invasive while filling the freezer with tasty bacon and hams and ribs and loins...mmmmmmmdrooolmmmmmm

                Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
                I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
                Emiliano Zapata

                by buddabelly on Mon Nov 11, 2013 at 01:18:48 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  buddabelly (5+ / 0-)

                  I found that the best tasting game meat was wild boar, not that I`ve eaten Nutria though. (And don`t plan to)

                  I`m already against the next war.

                  by Knucklehead on Mon Nov 11, 2013 at 01:49:44 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  I got 200 ac next door and all the hogs you care (6+ / 0-)

                  to harvest. Just spent another 50 bucks today to keep them out of my precious 5 ac. in Midway FL

                  "You are what you write, not what you look like."

                  by PHScott on Mon Nov 11, 2013 at 01:54:54 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I've kept hogs so I know how destructive they are (5+ / 0-)

                    not much stops a big hog from going just about anywhere they want and then the rooting...my Ghu, Willy, my last, an 800lb Barrow could dig in caliche like it was sand with his nose....add just a tich of moisture and he'd be down 3 feet in 30 seconds.....

                    We are lucky here in Az as our deserts protect us....just not enough water here for hogs to thrive....I hear rumors of the occasional sounder somewhere there is permanent water but I have never seen one personally and officially, our state has no feral hogs....officially....

                    But it would be a lot more gas and a lot harder to get them back to Az without spoiling....From Texas, I can load and pack the truck bed with ice then make it home before it's all thawed...esp with some styro insulation on all sides....

                    Appreciate the offer though, I hope you keep a suckling or two in the freezer........

                    Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
                    I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
                    Emiliano Zapata

                    by buddabelly on Mon Nov 11, 2013 at 02:25:40 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  I do wonder though, where they are so bad why (5+ / 0-)

                    the F&G Dept. doesn't just declare complete open season and set up a method for the meat to be donated to food banks.

                    Seems there's enough hunters out there that given free rein and allowing the meat to go to good cause would really make a dent in the population....same with the python which is also supposedly good eating and with a valuable hide to boot.....no pun intended

                    Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
                    I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
                    Emiliano Zapata

                    by buddabelly on Mon Nov 11, 2013 at 02:37:09 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  no season on hogs? (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      buddabelly, cotterperson, OceanDiver

                      I didn't think any state would have a limit or season on such a destructive pest...and I have never heard of a cow eating people...so with wild hogs I think it's kind of a different morality than eating fenced captured animals for meat.

                      And they are hard to hunt and freakin dangerous too...altho I have hiked thru a thicket encrusted trail powdered with their tracks and could hear  them rustling the brush around me...I lived..I was more worried about rumored Cougars.

                      Any Jaguars seen reclaiming Arizona lately?

                      So now I have the bloody mental hands of killing Nutria and feral hogs, can't go with killing invasive Anoles tho...snakes maybe, Brown Snakes in Hawaii or Guam, indeed. Sign me up.

                      This machine kills Fascists.

                      by KenBee on Mon Nov 11, 2013 at 02:54:27 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  There actually was a year or so ago and a (4+ / 0-)

                        different one than the old guy they trapped to collar and it killed him.   This was a younger male...also a couple recent sightinigs, well last year or so, of ocelots...

                        here's a link to the Jaguar sighting with trailcam pics....I don't think they will mess with this guy like they did poor Macho B though at about 16 he was getting a tich old for the wild.

                        Here's the latest Ocelot sighting I know of

                        imo, the real crazy idiots are the nutcases who hunt hogs with dogs and a knife...you're right, hogs are dangerous as hell and will not only kill you, they will eat you...they're also as smart if not smarter than most dogs and wily as hell...  My idea of the proper weapon is my 44 magnum levergun loaded with a deep penetrating hardcast 240g at close to 1700fps.....at the minimum.... hogs are built like tanks and without a clean side shot real hard to kill...my buddy had a ruger only nuclear 45LC round bounce off his hogs skull when trying to slaughter it.  He went from the front and from the front, they are tough with chest and shoulder plates and a skull bullets bounce off of.... from behind, a .22 will work in the right spot.

                        I don't know, maybe it is free rein on them in some areas, I have read of some though where they are "managed" instead of working towards elimination which is where some states are......  I'd bet there's some kind of health and safety regulation that keeps meat from being donated except under the table to friends and such.....

                        Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
                        I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
                        Emiliano Zapata

                        by buddabelly on Mon Nov 11, 2013 at 03:18:58 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

              •  longwinded way to say that anymore, the only (6+ / 0-)

                real difference is a Boar hog is male while a sow is female.....99% of the time.

                Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
                I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
                Emiliano Zapata

                by buddabelly on Mon Nov 11, 2013 at 01:23:27 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  ohhh dam!..where?!! (5+ / 0-)

            and way too close to Humboldt and Sf Bays....bad news for watersheds, they dig tunnels and collapse shorelines.

              In Louisiana resourceful people use them for crab trap and trotline and alligator bait.

            Last I saw of these they were just in Puget Sound watershed, whoever did that should be used as bait...grrrr.

            I actually saw one in the Mercer Slough up there, off of Lake Washington.

            This machine kills Fascists.

            by KenBee on Mon Nov 11, 2013 at 02:36:58 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  There must be several. Do you speak spanish? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            OceanDiver

            That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

            by enhydra lutris on Mon Nov 11, 2013 at 04:09:25 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  People will learn how to clean them safely. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          foresterbob, OceanDiver

          There is a huge demand at some of the top restaurants for it's meat. I can't think of any other way then to spear them in the reefs where they are devastating the native species, and supply and demand may just keep them under control.

          "If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading."- Lao-Tzu

          by Pakalolo on Mon Nov 11, 2013 at 03:59:38 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  We all came here from someplace else (13+ / 0-)

      even Native Americans. It just depends on how far back you want to look.

      I would never squish an anole, brown or otherwise. They help keep roaches and other bugs in check in and around our house in a far more effective and ecologically sound way than through the use of pesticides.

      And they're cute to watch, too.

    •  Lenny Flank (9+ / 0-)
      so it's at best just a symbolic gesture.
      So why not let them be, to eat the pesky little bugs & flies, not to mention dessert for cats.

      I have lizards & all sorts of visiting animals here,(birds, skunks, coyotes, snakes & raccoons & I`d never ever consider squishing one underfoot.

      This gopher snake may have just eaten a lizard.

      DSCN0212

      (From my yard)

      I`m already against the next war.

      by Knucklehead on Mon Nov 11, 2013 at 01:39:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  because I want biodiversity (6+ / 0-)

        I do NOT want "McWildlife", where everyone everywhere has the same plants and animals, the best invaders.

        The Greens eat bugs and feed cats just as well as the Browns do. But the Browns don't belong here, and they crowd out the species that DO belong here.  I'd rather have Browns where they belong and Greens where they belong, instead of just Browns everywhere and no Greens.

        And that is true of every other invasive species too. Were it up to me, I'd wipe them all out in any area where they are not native, to protect the native biodiversity.

        In the end, reality always wins.

        by Lenny Flank on Mon Nov 11, 2013 at 01:47:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Lenny Flank (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          enhydra lutris, OceanDiver

          What do you propose to do then when, due to climate change, animals start migrating to places they`ve never inhabited before. Not that it will happen on a large scale in my lifetime.

          I`m already against the next war.

          by Knucklehead on Mon Nov 11, 2013 at 01:53:21 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Hear Hear!! I'll fight off non-natives as long as (6+ / 0-)

          I can!  Going out tomorrow to knock back some privet that is encroaching one of the few existing slopes of Trout Lilies in S GA.

          "You are what you write, not what you look like."

          by PHScott on Mon Nov 11, 2013 at 02:00:06 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Don't take this wrong please (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Knucklehead

          but how do you square your attitude toward the brown with your belief in the theory of evolution. Things change. For whatever reason.

          I live way down in Lee County (Ft. Myers) and we have hundreds of anoles and just about anything you might want if you're foolish enough to look. Most of the local anoles around here are browns, but 5-10% are greens most years. Total population is somewhat controlled by the common black racers. Birds get a good number. Dog neighborhood and I know of no outdoor cats for some distance around.

          The male browns generally amuse me as they have idea of relative size. You come out  and there's the local porch boss staring you down, doing his pushups, and standing his ground. Good that they don't guns.........yet.

          •  evolution is a natural process (0+ / 0-)

            Releasing non-native species that were forcibly captured and imported for the pet trade and which crowd out native species to form a vast wasteland of McWildlife, is not a natural process.

            And anyway, bubonic plague and smallpox are a natural part of evolution too---and nobody in their right mind thinks we should let bubonic plague and smallpox organisms run free in the world.

            In the end, reality always wins.

            by Lenny Flank on Mon Nov 11, 2013 at 06:42:23 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I know I'll lose (0+ / 0-)

              but I think you have a very harsh view of evolution. There seems to me to be little evidence that huge numbers of browns were FORCIBLY CAPTURED (hung, scare word; you know perfectly well that anoles are not very hard to capture). But I think you're wrong anyway. I think many browns came up in ship cargo over the years and they are inherently better suited to the environment they found here. As you correctly noted, greens prefer, well, greenery and forested areas. They like to live up high. Browns thrive in an built up environment. We agree the better suited  to the current suburban,urban, and built-up environments browns for the most part ran the greens out. But in my tiny (built-up Fort Myers) corner of the ecosystem, we have lots of browns, and a reasonably thriving green colony in a corner that's a tad overgrown. Of course, if you're not really looking you rarely see the greens. And brown will stage a pitched set piece in the open battle for THEIR corner of the lanai. Well, that's a slight overstatement, but the big males stand their ground until the very last second. I've never seen a green do that.

              •  you are quite mistaken (0+ / 0-)

                1. first of all, it is not just the brown anoles--Florida has been invaded by dozens of other invasives too, everything from kudzu and water hyacinth to burmese pythons and monitor lizards.  None of them got here naturally--all of them were imported for the exotic pet/plant trade. Those pythons did not swim here from Burma, and the brown anoles did not walk to Tampa Bay or Miami (where they first appeared). They were imported for the pet trade and escaped. (And yes, it was forcible--they did not volunteer for the trip.)

                2. invasive species are, worldwide and within Florida, doing tremendous and permanent damage to the local ecosystems, and are the second leading cause of species extinctions, behind only habitat destruction. They are not just harmless little additions to the cute critter collection.

                3. Evolution is harsh.  That is the real world. Smallpox and bubonic plague evolved just as much as anole lizards and water hyacinth did.

                The real world, alas, is not a Bambi movie.

                In the end, reality always wins.

                by Lenny Flank on Tue Nov 12, 2013 at 07:13:37 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  If you think (0+ / 0-)

                  my post was about other than brown anoles, you have a problem.

                  I'm fully aware of the numerous invasive specifies right around my house and have a good awareness of the mess in the Glades.  That's NOT what I was talking about. I'm beginning to think you have a problem with any contradiction. You're not arguing, you're railing in response. Please DBAD.  You haven't gone there yet, but you're trending that way.

                  What you haven't done and I don't think you can do in the case of the brown anole is show that many, if not nearly all of the escapees, came via cargo movements unrelated to them. They came as passengers, not prisoners as you would have it.  Maybe accidental passengers but still passengers.

                  Like my grandparents.

                  Peace.

                  •  come onnnnnn . . . . . . (0+ / 0-)
                    What you haven't done and I don't think you can do in the case of the brown anole is show that many, if not nearly all of the escapees, came via cargo movements unrelated to them.
                    They were imported as pets for more than half a century.

                    And the two places they first appeared, Tampa Bay and Miami,  are the two primary ports of entry for exotic plants and animals entering the eastern United States.

                    They got here the same way everything from Burmese pythons to giant ameivas got here.

                    In the end, reality always wins.

                    by Lenny Flank on Tue Nov 12, 2013 at 10:14:27 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  The endemic breed (0+ / 0-)

                      of Cuban frogs that overrun this area? You also found these ugly things in pet shops?  I'm not talking cane toads and yes I know why they came and came to be endemic here.

                      Have you ever been wrong?

                      •  yes, Cuban frogs are on many reptile dealer lists (0+ / 0-)

                        I kept them when I lived in Pennsylvania.

                        PS--cane toads are on reptile dealer lists too, though that's not why they were originally imported into Florida.

                        Have you ever been wrong?
                        Plenty of times.  But not this time.

                        In the end, reality always wins.

                        by Lenny Flank on Tue Nov 12, 2013 at 01:04:19 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I don't think (0+ / 0-)

                          the Cuban frogs I'm talking about are those that were your pets. These tend to be big dudes: 5-6 inches long and remarkably ugly.  Almost toad like, but apparently they are frogs. And very strictly nocturnal. If it's light they are very sound asleep. You can pick them up and move them (gently) and they don't notice  a thing.

                          But anyway you are ruler here and I'm wrong. I'm sorry for troubling you.

                          •  Cuban tree frogs . . . (0+ / 0-)

                            formerly Hyla septentrionalis, now Osteopilus septentrionalis.

                            I wrote a bit about them in one of the seven books I did for Simon and Schuster on exotic pets back in the late 90's. They are still on dealer import lists today.

                            Kept them for over 20 years. Never thought they were ugly. But then I never thought amphiumas or trapdoor spiders were ugly, either.

                            Heck, I've even kept cane toads as pets. I think they're cute.

                            In the end, reality always wins.

                            by Lenny Flank on Tue Nov 12, 2013 at 04:30:47 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

          •  Evolution and invasives (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            fluffy, a gilas girl

            You're right that this kind of randomness happens all the time in the wild -- a cliff face crumbles and suddenly the Left Red-Toed Lesser Shrew has access to an area previously occupied only by the Golden-Eyebrowed Shrew, or whatever. Eventually one wins out, or they shift their niches slightly so that they coexist. Also over a period of time, the Golden's predators may or may not learn to catch the Red-Toes, and the predator's numbers may or may not change as a result; trees that only the Red-Toes eat the seeds of will diminish in population; etc.

            There may not be anything inherently bad about Reds vs. Goldens, but during the process of upheaval, the system as a whole is more susceptible to another random event, like a disease targeting the trees with the yummy seeds. A healthy stand of those trees might lose some of its members to the disease and then bounce back; but what if the Left Red-Toed Lesser Shrew has eaten the seeds of most of the ones that happen to be resistant? A system is more vulnerable during periods of disruption caused by invasion.

            So the thing about invasive species in the modern world is that this kind of disruption is happening at a greater rate than is "natural", and if you do it in five parts of a system at once, instead of one or two, you can destabilize the whole thing and end up with a desert. Not likely to happen in our front yards with the anole situation, since we water and fertilize and replant; but an issue for wild places, or places that we're trying to manage as actual wildlife reserves.

            •  as I have noted before, the invasives in Florida (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              a gilas girl

              are not the result of natural range expansion or of natural immigration or of changing climates.  These animals were brought here for the pet trade, and many of them were deliberately released. The Burmese pythons did not swim here from Burma; the African Monitor Lizards did not get here because a cliff collapsed. There is nothing even remotely "natural" about the invasive species that are currently destroying Florida habitat. The problem is solely one-hundred-percent human-caused.

              In the end, reality always wins.

              by Lenny Flank on Tue Nov 12, 2013 at 07:17:55 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  All true... (0+ / 0-)

                but humans are also part of the system.  That this is unnecessary goes with out saying.  Still, the nuanced take on systems theory is a good reminder, I find.

                Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

                by a gilas girl on Tue Nov 12, 2013 at 07:40:48 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  yes indeed, but if we are to consider everything (0+ / 0-)

                  humans do as "part of the natural system", then why do we gripe about global warming or air pollution?  It's all entirely utterly one-thousand percent natural.

                  ;)

                  Humans can't do much about the environmental changes we don't cause.  But we CAN do something about the environmental changes we DO cause.

                  In the end, reality always wins.

                  by Lenny Flank on Tue Nov 12, 2013 at 10:16:11 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Thank you for the nuanced explanation (0+ / 0-)

              systems are just that: systems, no?  At any point balances can be altered and systems need to adjust.

              Welcome from the DK Partners & Mentors Team. If you have any questions about how to participate here, you can learn more at the Knowledge Base or from the New Diarists Resources Diaries. Diaries labeled "Open Thread" are also great places to ask. We look forward to your contributions.

              Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

              by a gilas girl on Tue Nov 12, 2013 at 07:38:53 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  "squish them underfoot"- me and geckos... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      enhydra lutris

      also non-natives up here in N FL

      "You are what you write, not what you look like."

      by PHScott on Mon Nov 11, 2013 at 01:51:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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