An assessment of potential vertebrate predators of the non-native Green Iguana (Iguana iguana) in Hong Kong
Biological control is the management of non-native species through the use of their natural enemies. The Green Iguana (Iguana iguana), a large lizard of the Neotropics, has established populations in extralimital countries. There has been an increasing recent pattern of reports of free-living Green Iguanas in Hong Kong, which was the trigger of this desktop assessment of native Hong Kong fauna that may prey upon escaped or released iguanas. A literature review found documented predators of Green Iguanas from 12 vertebrate orders. There were two mammalian orders (Carnivora, Primates), eight avian orders (Cuculiformes, Pelecaniformes, Accipitriformes, Cathartiformes, Falconiformes, Strigiformes, Piciformes, Passeriformes), and two reptilian orders (Squamata, Crocodylia), which are all presently represented in Hong Kong with the exception of the orders Cathartiformes and Crocodylia. Based on knowledge of other taxa documented to prey upon lizards represented in Hong Kong, we suggested additional prospective predators of Green Iguanas from one further mammalian order (Artiodactyla) and one further avian order (Ciconiiformes). Since avian species generally have a greater representation in settled areas, along with stray domestic dogs and cats, we expect these species to be the potential predators most likely to take iguanas when they are first released or escaped.
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