Iguana import ban: Thailand takes action to curb environmental threat

Photo: Freepik

The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) has brought into effect an iguana import ban amid fears of rapid proliferation and potential environmental damage. The invasive species, discovered in vast numbers in natural habitats in the Lopburi province, have been causing distress to local communities by feeding on agricultural produce.

The green iguana is an alien species with no origin in Thailand, and the precise cause of its sudden appearance remains unclear. Atthapol Charoenchansa, the DNP director-general, revealed that the ban is an attempt to prevent the problem from escalating.

The decision is backed by powers granted under Articles 23 and 116 of the National Reserved Forests and Wildlife Preservation Act B.E. 2562 (2019) and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment’s announcement dated July 27 2022, which designates certain wildlife as a controlled species.

Under these regulations, the DNP will refrain from permitting the importation of wildlife listed in the Ministry’s announcement as a measure to control the population within the country until a further announcement is made. This includes the Iguana species under the Family Iguanidae, listed as 640 in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). The iguana import ban takes immediate effect.

The DNP director-general added that current records show 244 owners possessing a total of 3,419 green iguanas, with Chon Buri province having the highest number at 982. However, the newly enacted iguana import ban is a precautionary measure to ensure population control of the iguanas released in the wild.

The actual numbers are being urgently surveyed. Once the green iguana population is under control, the department may consider permitting imports again, reported KhaoSod.

In related news, Thailand remains steadfast in implementing the prohibition of unregulated pork imports, even for personal use, as highlighted by the identification and confiscation of illicit pork imports at major international airports. In these inspections, the canine unit, named Inspector Beagle, plays a crucial role in detecting any meat products that may harbour viral strains of African Swine Fever (ASF). Read more HERE.

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Nattapong Westwood

Nattapong Westwood is a Bangkok-born writer who is half Thai and half Aussie. He studied in an international school in Bangkok and then pursued journalism studies in Melbourne. Nattapong began his career as a freelance writer before joining Thaiger. His passion for news writing fuels his dedication to the craft, as he consistently strives to deliver engaging content to his audience.
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