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Thailand bans import of all types of iguanas to control rapid spread


THE Thai government has announced a ban on import of all types of iguanas to control their proliferation in the country and reduce impact on the ecosystem, Thai News Agency and Matichon newspaper said this afternoon (Nov, 21).

Government spokesman Chai Wacharonke said this ban follows a rapid and unexplained surge in the spread of various alien iguana species in natural areas which is affecting the environment and ecosystem while also causing trouble for farmers in affected areas.

In response, measures have been implemented to control the spread of the iguana population in Thailand. According to the announcement by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment on November 17, 2023, the import of all types of iguanas is prohibited.

The Department of National Parks, Wildlife, and Plant Conservation has initiated an online registration system for iguana ownership. The registration process has revealed that 244 people currently own a total of 3,419 iguanas. Among these, Chonburi province has the highest number of registered iguanas totaling 982 iguanas.

“This announcement rules out allowing import of all types of iguanas. It is a measure to prevent and control the breeding of alien iguanas that are now increasingly found in natural areas of Thailand.

“Offenders face both imprisonment and a fine.

“However import of iguanas will be reconsidered once it is found that their proliferation has been brought under control,” Chai said.


Top: An iguana in Costa Rica published on Unsplash in collaboration with Zdeněk Macháček

Front Page: Image of a yellow iguana by Francesco Ungaro (@francesco_ungaro) on Unsplash

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