The Westin has an iguana overpopulation problem, made worse in recent years by a feed-the-iguana program for guests. And the iguana has no natural predator on the island who might, as they say, ‘thin the herd.’
“The iguanas get overly aggressive and create an issue for our guests,” Ryan told the Source. So, the resort has been rounding up iguanas and moving them elsewhere, like to Fish Bay.
The St. John Source reported that Mike Ryan suspended the roundups after a Chatham University researcher told him it’s illegal to do that.
But the V.I. Indigenous and Endangered Species Act protects the large lizards from being caught and moved.
Ryan plans to talk with the VI’s Fish and Wildlife Division to develop a new strategy to manage the iguana population.
One biologist suggested the Westin get a dog to walk around the resort to discourage the iguanas’ roaming.