Authorities receive more than 100 reports of invasive lizard in South Carolina

Authorities receive more than 100 reports of invasive lizard in South Carolina
A black and white Tegu lizard sticks out its tongue at the Yebo Gogga exhibition at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg Wednesday, May 13, 2015. (Source: Associated Press)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Authorities say they have received more than 100 reports of Argentine black and white tegus in South Carolina.

On Friday night, officials with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources announced the department was creating an online form for the public to submit reports of the lizard.

“SCDNR staff have been monitoring the black and white tegu reports and information closely, due to their establishment in Georgia and Florida,” officials said in a statement.

A report states that Argentine black and white tegus in the wild are large predators that are long-lived with few natural predators of their own.

“Additionally, they can mature rapidly, reproduce in large numbers, and negatively impact our native ground-nesting birds like turkey and quail, as well as other species like the state-endangered gopher tortoise,” SCDNR officials said.

Authorities are asking the public to report any sightings of the lizard using the online form or by emailing Andrew Grosse at grossea@dnr.sc.gov. SCDNR is asking the public whenever possible to submit a photo, location, and time and date of the sighting.

“As a non-native species, tegus in the wild in South Carolina are not protected by state wildlife laws or regulations and should be removed from the wild,” DNR officials siad.

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