Posted on April 10, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Burmese pythons, native to southern Asia, have taken up a comfortable residence in the state of Florida, especially in the Everglades. In addition to out-competing native wildlife for resources and habitat, the pythons are eating the native wildlife. PHOTO COURTESY SARAH L. STEWART.
Invasive pythons found to be eating eggs in addition to birds
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Burmese pythons aren’t just sitting and waiting for native birds in the Everglades — they’re actively seeking out nests and eating eggs, according to a new report by Smithsonian scientists who are trying to assess the impacts of the unwelcome invaders.
The findings suggest a new dimension in the threat to native wildlife, with tens of thousands of snakes on the loose in the subtropical ecosystem. The team’s findings are published in the online journal Reptiles & Amphibians: Conservation and Natural History.
“This finding is significant because it suggests that the Burmese python is not simply a sit-and-wait predator, but … is opportunistic enough to find the nests of birds,” said Carla Dove, ornithologist at the Smithsonian’s Feather Identification Lab in the National Museum of Natural History and lead author of the study. “Although the sample size is small, these findings suggest that the snakes have the potential to negatively affect the breeding success of native birds.” (more…)
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, Environment, national parks | Tagged: biodiversity, Burmese Python, Everglades, Everglades National Park, invasive species, Smithsonian Institution | Leave a Comment »
Posted on January 18, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
A Burmese python caught in the Florida Everglades. PHOTO COURTESY USFWS.
Current owners won’t be dramatically affected by new regulation
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — A decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to ban the import and interstate transport of four non-native snakes will elicit criticism from some snake enthusiasts, but will go a long way toward limiting more harm to the Everglades and other sensitive ecosystems.
The final rule lists the Burmese python, the yellow anaconda, and the northern and southern African pythons as injurious wildlife under the Lacey Act in order to restrict their spread in the wild in the United States. (more…)
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, Environment, Summit County news | Tagged: Burmese Python, Everglades, Lacey Act, U.S. bans snake imports, United States, United States Fish and Wildlife Service | Leave a Comment »
Posted on January 6, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
An invasive Burmese Python on Her Nest in South Florida. PHOTO COURTESY JEMEEMA CARRIGAN, UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA.
Saltwater may not be an effective barrier to halt the spread of invasive snakes in south Florida
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Invasive Burmese pythons breeding in the Everglades may pose a threat to adjacent ecosystems and even nearby islands like the Florida Keys, according to U.S. Geological Survey scientists who recently tested the pythons for their tolerance to saltwater.
Resource managers had hoped that saltwater would block the spread of pythons from the Everglades, but the study showed the young snakes can withstand exposure to salt water long enough to potentially expand their range through ocean and estuarine environments.
The research was published in the latest issue of the Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology.
The pythons were released as unwanted pets. They can grow up to 20-feet long in their native Asian habitat. In the Everglades, they’ve been eating gray squirrels, possums, black rats, house wrens, and even bobcats and white-tailed deer. The National Park Service is also concerned that the snakes may be preying on species of concern, including native mangrove fox squirrels and wood storks. The agency estimates that there are now thousands of pythons living in the Everglades. (more…)
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, Environment, Florida, Summit County news | Tagged: biodiversity, Burmese Python, Environment, Everglades, Florida, Florida Keys, invasive species, National Park Service, United States Geological Survey | 2 Comments »