Pythons Taking Over the Everglades
A python is one of the world’s largest snakes. These snakes are known for their ability to squeeze their prey until dead and then to swallow whole. People have been known to keep them as pets which have been a problem for the Everglades in Florida. It seems that owners of the Burmese pythons released these snakes in the Everglades 15-30 years ago, and the snakes have been living and breeding ever since. These snakes can grow to 10-16 feet in length, and can have been known to eat raccoons, opossums, deer and other mammals, along with birds and gators.
Before the knowledge of the pythons, a team of 11 university and federal scientists went to observe the mammal population of the Everglades between 2003 and 2011. Raccoons and opossums were seen quite frequently, but their numbers were soon reduced as the years passed. Rabbits and foxes were not able to be found. Rabbits were quite frequently seen in the 90s. Animal sightings have dropped from 20 to 80 percent.
The Burmese pythons are causing a great havoc to the Everglades’ ecosystem. The government is banning the importation and interstate transport of Burmese pythons. There were other foreign snakes also located in the Everglades that also might be causing some problems for Florida’s ecosystem.
I personally am NOT a fan of snakes, but all you snake lovers out there that have snakes as pets, try to be a little more careful where you release your pets. Your snakes can do some real damage.
Image Credit: Python by Roberto Verzo, on Flickr