Friday, March 26, 2010

Pythons in the Everglades

Florida's naturally and consistently warm climate allows for many species to thrive in the wild, even non-native ones. This causes a huge problem for local wildlife as people unable to care for their pets (especially large reptiles) turn them loose to fend for themselves. Of particular concern is the now thriving population of burmese pythons that inhabit the Everglades, a huge and constant threat to all of the wildlife that relies on that fragile habitat. These snakes can get so big that they have been documented to eat alligators!

Due to unseasonably cold weather over the winter, however, it is estimated that up to 90% of the these huge snakes may have died (though that was only documented from a total of 10 of these large snakes that are tracked with radio transmitters as a way to study them). There is fierce debate about ways to further decrease the population of these snakes, ranging from bans on owning them in the state to having a "snake hunting season."

Read more here.

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