Florida is facing a real wildlife situation as Python invasion is killing endangered species at the Everglades.
Burmese pythons are all over the Everglades and their immense population is killing the wildlife of Florida’s national park.
The Burmese Python is a species that lives in the south and south east of the Asian continent. It is one of the largest snakes on the planet and many people are looking to have them as a pet in spite of their size.
It has been assumed that the numbers of the snakes in the Everglades National Park has increased in 1992 after Hurricane Andrew. At this time, a non professional breeding facility was damaged leading to a huge number of pythons and eggs to spread around in the environment. These snakes survived and arrived at the incredible number of 300,000.
The Everglades contains a wide fauna and given the fact that pythons feed on any kind of animal from mammals to birds they found there a promising environment for survival.
Because of this and their large number, biologists blame the Burmese pythons for the decrease of the mammal population in the Everglades National Park. Moreover, there are many endangered species which officials are trying to protect, and the snakes are contributing to their disappearance.
Two years ago the Everglades made a call for hunters to come and help them decrease the python population, but it didn’t turned out successful. In spite of the 1,600 hunters who came they managed to kill only 68 pythons.
However, a scientific research might come with the solution the national park requires to diminish the python invasion. Researchers have conducted an intense and detailed study on these reptiles by tracking down 19 Burmese pythons for 14 years. Specialists captured the snakes, inserted a tracking device in each and set them free at a distance of 10 feet from the place where they captured them.
They could track the pythons down with the help of a GPS and they observed that the reptiles lived in an area of around 22 square kilometres in the Everglades National Park.
For the next step of the study, researchers analysed and compared the behaviour of a Burmese python in its natural environment from Asia and the behaviour a snake would have in the Florida region.
The results showed that in Florida they don’t have any natural enemies, meaning they are prosperous and feeding and reproduction are their main activities.
In Asia, the Burmese python is considered an isolated animal, but weirdly enough, in the Everglades the snakes are living in groups.
During the mating season of birds, many mammals who feed on eggs are lured in that region. Pythons feed with both mammals and birds therefore a huge number of them head to these precise places to eat. It’s the small animals and birds against an army of up to 6 meters pythons.
Biologists will now have to study the research and see how these findings might help them into solving the alarmingly high number of Burmese pythons who have been menacing the Everglades for the past three decades.
Image Source: latino fox news