South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) confirmed eight additional sightings of the non-native black and white tegus since the initial report from Lexington County in August.
Five sightings were from Lexington and Richland counties. Two were from Berkley County and one from Greenville County. Of these sightings, five tegus have been successfully removed from the wild.
SCDNR staff have been closely monitoring reports of the tegus sightings because of their potential impacts on native ground-nesting birds including turkey and quail and other species like state-endangered gopher tortoise.
Information regarding the first sighting of a wild Argentine black and white tegu in South Carolina was announced Aug. 21 by SCDNR. Since then, more than 80 reports of black and white tegu sightings were received.
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, according to SCDNR.
Any sightings of black and white tegu in the wild should be reported to Andrew Grosse at email@example.com. Those submitting reports are asked to include a photo, location, date and time of the sighting.
Additional information about the species, including natural history and identifying characteristics can be found online.