Nile monitor lizards spotted and concerning FWC - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Nile monitor lizards spotted and concerning FWC

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WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - Monitor lizards aren't native to South Florida, but that's exactly where they've ended up.

Now, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is telling everyone to be on the lookout for the lizards which can grow up to seven feet long.

"We've been finding them along the C-15 canal," said Gabriella Ferraro of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission.

That canal stretches from Lake Worth to downtown West Palm, but they've been spotted in canal systems in Broward County too.

The FWC has a picture of them mating in Palm Beach County, and they suspect that they're interrupting our local ecosystem.

The lizards were likely brought here from Africa and the Asian subcontinent as pets. "They feed on eggs. We're talking about eggs of our native birds, that are using these canals as habitats," said Ferraro.

To be clear, the lizards don't necessarily seek out people and bite them, but they do get defensive when harassed.

The FWC has been euthanizing ones that have been captured, and they plan to step up patrols to eliminate as many as possible.

"We do expect to find more. That's why we're putting the word out that we do ask the public to help us in this effort. This is a high-priority species for us," said Ferraro.

If you see one, they're asking you to go to ivegot1.org to fill out information and upload pictures.

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