The Burmese Python. It’s long, quick and scary. An invasive species from south East Asia. The python has made its way into the United States and is causing a big commotion in Florida. Why has this become a huge problem? What is Florida doing about the problem? What is a Burmese Python?
A little about the Burmese Python. It is capable of reaching 23ft of length and weighing close to 200lbs. The python, when young is usually in the trees. But when it gets older it isn’t capable of being in the trees anymore so it has to either live on ground or live in the water. They can stay up to 30 minutes in the water before resurfacing for air. They are carnivores (meat eaters) and their diet consists of small mammals and birds. The python kills by wrapping itself around its prey (suffocating the animal), biting it infecting it with its venom and swallowing it. They have stretchy ligaments in their jaw so they are able to do so easily. Also the python is usually seen during mating season and it can have up to 100 eggs.
The Burmese Python as you already know is an invasive species. An invasive species is a plant/ animal that is not native to a certain area. It is also on the threatened species list. A threatened species is a plant/ animal that are vulnerable to endangerment in the future.
The Python was brought here for pet owners who like big snakes, but the owners seem to stop taking care of the snake and let them go or lose them. In Florida it seems to be happening quite often. The python has been living in one of their national parks, well mostly they’ve been found a lot in the park. The Everglades National Park. The park staff have found over 2,000 snakes since 2002. But the population has grown close to 30,000 snakes. With the snakes in the park the ecosystem has been impacted roughly. The Burmese pythons have been found eating many of the mammals and birds in the park, sometimes they’ve even fed on the alligators. With the pythons in the park many of the other endangered species have been impacted and the park is upset that they cannot protect them from the snakes. With this impact there has been a law made that makes it so you cannot own this snake in Florida and you cannot cross state lines with this snake if you do not have a federal permit.
With wildlife management you are allowed to hunt the pythons during certain seasons. With a hunting license and required permits you should be set to go. Reasons aren’t because the state doesn’t like them it’s to control the population on the snakes and to control an outburst that could kill off many plants and animals permanently.
The Burmese python is a huge problem in the Florida Everglades. This invasive species is killing many of the mammals that live in the Everglades. Without any predators, their population is growing at a tremendous rate, and we need to find a way to stop them.
Are there any better ways to control the python than with only hunting?
Are there any other invasive species causing problems in North Dakota?
Have any animals gone extinct because of invasive species?