Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Come to Florida And See The Alligators and Pythons and Pythons and...


Burmese pythons, left, and an African rock python, center, removed from the Florida Everglades (AP)

African Python Threat Growing in Florida

It's been about two months since Florida issued a virtual open season on giant invasive Burmese pythons gobbling up rabbits, birds and even small alligators throughout the Everglades.

Now there's another nonnative stealthy stalker that could soon be taking up residence in the region — Africa's largest snake, the rock python.

Three of these enormous constrictors that can grow to 20 feet and weigh 200 pounds have been found in the last few months in western Miami-Dade County, raising concerns that they could establish a breeding population, just like their Burmese cousins.

In South Florida's Everglades, where nonnative species of plants and animals are rampant, "it's business as usual" to find one invasive snake of any kind, said Scott Hardin, exotic species coordinator for the state Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

"The thing that's a little concerning to us is the fact that we've had three sightings (of rock pythons) since the end of May, two in August," Hardin said. "We have to control this before things get out of hand."

The number of Burmese pythons in South Florida and throughout Everglades National Park has exploded in the past decade to potentially thousands, though wildlife officials aren't sure exactly how many are slithering around the region.



jadedj said...

This is disturbing news, especially since I grew up in Florida, and lived in south Florida for almost 10 years...very close to the Everglades. I have been biking in the Everglades...hiking in the Everglades, and even on picnics in the Everglades.

This is one good case for government intervention...that is, the import of exotic animals and needed restrictions on the same. Unfortunately, there is a large and profitable market for these creatures and many end up being released into the glades. Of course they interrupt the natural chain and could cause unrepairable damage.

Oops, sorry Chimp...one of my major peeves and I tend to get carried away.

Chimp said...

There are so many stories lately of people owning these exotic snakes and then escaping. "Wasn't little Johnny playing in the backyard with our pet boa a second ago?"

Punch said...

Damn Yankees! only thing you can say about them.

Chimp said...

You want some pythons, punch? Free!