Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Florida Scientists Interrupt Python Mating Balls with Snitches

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The exotic Burmese python has caused terrible ecosystem damage in Florida in recent years. I've written about this before here, here, and here. In a new article from the Miami Herald by Jenny Staletovich (found here), we learn that scientists are sending out male snitch snakes (their words, not mine) that have tracking devices inserted into them. The males meet up with other males and one female in mating balls (again not my words) around Valentine's Day and thereby, through their tracking device, give away the snake cluster to scientists for capture. To date, over a ton of snakes by weight have been captured in Florida in a relatively small area using the tracking system.

The challenge with keeping the python in check is that a pregnant snake produces 24-72 eggs. A ton of snakes is a lot of snakes, but it just a drop in the mating ball bucket. 

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