Burmese Pythons Are Destroying the Everglades

Burmese PythonThe Burmese python is a massive snake native to Southeast Asia that arrived in South Florida in the 1980s, possibly released into the wild by careless pet owners. There are now as many as 300,000 of these invasive creatures slithering through the state, and they’ve been known to eat alligators, bobcats, rabbits, and birds.

Now scientists have discovered that Burmese pythons — which can reach 18 feet in length and swallow a bobcat whole — are even more ravenous than they realized. In a new paper in Bioinvasions Records, a team of researchers describe slitting open the intestine of a dead 14-foot python and finding the remains of three different white-tailed deer. The snake appears to have gobbled them up, an adult and two fawns, in just 90 days.

The implications are disturbing. “If this was just one snake that ate three deer in isolation, that’d be one thing” says Scott Boback, a biologist at Dickinson College and lead author of the study. But the incident comes alongside growing evidence that the Burmese pythons are ravaging native wildlife in South Florida’s Everglades. “When you put that all together, you’ve got to say, okay, something serious is going on here.”

–Brad Plumer
This 14-Foot Python Was Caught With 3 Deer in Its Gut. That’s a Bad Sign.

4 thoughts on “Burmese Pythons Are Destroying the Everglades

  1. They lay their eggs in the spring. It might be practical to use drones to locate the eggs and send teams to destroy the eggs.

    • Apparently the mothers coil around the eggs during gestation. So that makes them vulnerable to stinging ants! Let’s seed Florida with stinging ants! Hell, let’s just dump every spooky species on Florida and see what happens.

      Seriously, the drone thing is a good idea. I’ll bet you could teach them to spot the eggs themselves and record the locations. Poor pythons, though! It’s not their fault macho assholes buy animals they shouldn’t and dump ’em later. I understand there have been reports of anacondas in the swamps, too ….

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