The government of Chiayi county, Taiwan, is offering a (modest) reward for the capture of brown anoles, a species of lizard native to the Carribean. The species is capable of destroying indigenous wildlife, and the snake population, while plentiful and dangerous, is not large enough to deal with the problem naturally. The anoles obviously got here because of human intervention (read: stupidity), but did they get here by plane or by cargo ship? I doubt they were smuggled in.(I’ve unintentionally come within a few metres of cobras and pythons while riding bike trails near rives and streams in Taiwan. Just last week a woman in Kaohsiung was bitten by a cobra in her kitchen. Thankfully, she survived.)
September 23, 2017
Chiayi’s Shuishang Township is offering a reward for residents that capture brown anoles, a lizard native to the Caribbean. The town will give NT$5 for each brown anole caught until November 10, UDN reported.
According to Chiayi County statistics, 168,000 brown anoles have been brought in for a reward. The government said that the campaign is to contain the lizard species from expanding and to maintain the local ecosystem. The brown anole not only eats insects, but can consume other local lizard species.
Some residents joked that instead of turning the lizards in for a reward, they should invent dishes that include the reptiles.
The male brown anole can generally grow to about 20 cm in length, with female lizards reaching about 15 cm. The species has been known to spread rapidly once introduced to an ecosystem.
I’m glad to see some people have a sense of humour about it: “Make recipes from the lizards”. It wouldn’t be the first time people here eat things most “westerners” (i.e. me) turn their noses up to (picture courtesy of Michael Turton’s Taiwan blog). I’ve been served frog fat soup at “special events” but couldn’t make myself eat it. And no, I don’t go to snake alley.