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Invasive Reptiles Facts

Last updated on November 14, 2023


There has been much discussion about invasive species in the herpetological world. This article will not discuss the legislation but will rather explain what an invasive species actually is and mention cases of were reptiles have caused damage to the environment.

Definition of an invasive species

A non native species which causes harm to the ecosystem that has the capacity to thrive and BREED!!! In its new environment
To further explain this definition an invasive species must be able to breed in its new habitat, it will be useless to classify a species as invasive if it cannot breed in its alien habitat. For example should a snake species become introduced into a habit but cannot breed it will die out before it can cause any harm. Even if a gravid female is released and it lays eggs these babies will not be able to breed and the species will not be able to establish itself as an invasive species as specimens will simply die of old age. Also an invasive species must cause harm to its new home. Species which do no harm to the environment can be classified as introduced species, see definition below.
Introduced Species: A species which lives and breeds in a non native habitat but causes no harm ( Tropical House Geckos, Flower Pot Snakes)
To further explain what an introduced species is I will discuss the above mentioned species. Tropical House Geckos have been introduced into almost all tropical or sub tropical places in the world. They thrive in human dwellings and perform a beneficial function of eating cockroaches and other insect pests. You will see these geckos on almost any wall in Durban in South Africa or in Florida USA where they eat Insects and get eaten by lizard eating snakes and other predators, thus this species is not invasive as it does not harm the environment.

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