New neighborhood science stories present that the Peters’s Rock Agama (Agama picticauda) is spreading from Florida and has reached the Bahamas and the British Virgin Islands, undoubtedly carried as stowaways on outbound vessels. A bunch of Caribbean-based biologists and conservationists are expressing their deep concern as a result of this area is a biodiversity hotpot with 1000’s of distinctive, endemic species, over 1,500 of that are already at excessive danger of extinction.
Of their letter to the journal Animal Conservation, the authors establish almost 50 native reptile species (amongst which many species of Anolis) that may very well be impacted if the agama turns into established throughout the Jap Caribbean. On condition that it’s identified to seize prey as much as a minimum of 5 cm snout-vent size, many species are vulnerable to being eaten by the agamas; even massive native lizards are prone to expertise competitors and displacement given the agama’s aggressive behaviours.
The authors advise scientists, conservationists, coverage makers, veterinarians and border management companies to be on excessive alert for incursions by Peters’s Rock Agamas and different non-native reptiles. They additional urge the transport sector – particularly these working out of Florida – to be looking out for the agama and to take swift measures to take away them.
The letter has been printed in Animal Conservation: M.P. van den Burg et al.: The specter of Peters’s Rock Agama (Agama picticauda) to reptile range throughout the Lesser Antilles. Animal Conservation 2023, 12889. https://doi.org/10.1111/acv.12889