Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Burmese Pythons Rebound Big In Florida

A Burmese Python captured near the Everglades.
Click for photo credit.
I ran across this article from the Miami Herald about a female Burmese Python that was captured in Florida recently.  She was about to lay 87 eggs in the Everglades prior to being caught and killed.

Of course, the Burmese Python is not native to Florida and there are concerns over their expansion into the subtropics in the United States.  During a cold spell two years ago, widespread freezes seemed to check the population of the snake and many were found dead.  However, the population came back and the snake is having a big impact.  This recent discovery was the largest number of eggs ever found in a female python in Florida.

It is estimated that there are over 100,000 pythons in Florida.  If even a small number of them are females with successful reproductive cycles, the number of pythons that will exist across Florida in coming years is frightening.

There is evidence that pythons are starting to have an impact on local ecosystems.  There are fewer mammals (like raccoons and opossums) in areas where pythons are known.  While there has only been one fatality in Florida from pythons, I expect that there will be more python/human interactions and conflicts in the near future.

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