Chiayi Offers Reward for Capturing Invasive Lizard Species

brown anole
Photo by Axolotl12 via Wikimedia Commons

Chiayi’s Shuishang Township is offering a reward for residents that capture brown anoles, a lizard native to the Caribbean. The town will give NT$5 for each brown anole caught until November 10, UDN reported.

According to Chiayi County statistics, 168,000 brown anoles have been brought in for a reward. The government said that the campaign is to contain the lizard species from expanding and to maintain the local ecosystem. The brown anole not only eats insects, but can consume other local lizard species.

However, some residents are angry that the registration system isn’t working properly, Liberty Times reported. Many people who have brought the invasive lizard in have not received rewards and a few people who brought in large numbers of lizards early on have taken the majority of the subsidies provided. County legislators have said that they will pursue a more fair reward system.

Some residents joked that instead of turning the lizards in for a reward, they should invent dishes that include the reptiles.

The male brown anole can generally grow to about 20 cm in length, with female lizards reaching about 15 cm. The species has been known to spread rapidly once introduced to an ecosystem.

The Chiayi County government began introducing the program to capture the lizards in 2009. Between 2014 and 2015, the government handed out NT$698,000 in rewards for 736,148 lizards, according to Apple Daily.

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