Green iguanas are large lizards exotic to Puerto Rico, but abundant around Luis Munoz Marin International Airport (SJU) in metropolitan San Juan, where we assessed their potential as an airstrike hazard. During our two month sampling period, operations on portions of the airfield had to be halted on six occasions due to hazards presented by iguana incursions to aircraft traffic areas. All 5 records of collisions with iguanas in the FAA airstrike database were from SJU. Body size comparisons between mature iguanas and terrestrial mammals known as aircraft collision hazards indicated that iguanas present airstrike hazards. Application of a predictive equation previously developed to relate body mass to a relative hazard score for airstrikes indicated that iguanas could rank with such damaging species as ducks, pelicans and eagles. We recommend that a wildlife hazard assessment be conducted at SJU, and we suggest some possible remediation measures.
Scholarly Commons Citation
Engeman, R. M.,
Smith, H. T.,
& Constantin, B.
Invasive Iguanas as Airstrike Hazards at Luis Munoz Marin International Airport, San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Journal of Aviation/Aerospace Education & Research, 14(3).