The Burmese python is an invasive species currently causing severe problems in Florida. In recent years, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and many other organizations have spent more than six million dollars trying to find a solution to curb this problem.
Burmese pythons are a species of constrictor snake native to the subtropics of South and Southeast Asia. The Burmese python has green and brown skin that camouflages easily. The python can grow up to 18.8 feet, which puts it among the top five largest snakes in the world. This tremendously big snake can thrive in a range of different environments since it both swims and climbs trees.
Recently, the Burmese python has flourished in Florida, where it devours wildlife such as deer, small mammals, birds, and sometimes even alligators. There have been various attempts to hunt and kill off all of the Burmese pythons in the state, but these slippery serpents are largely unopposed by any species other than humans. Unchecked, the predatory pythons reproduce rapidly and endanger this southern environment.
Controlling and eradicating these invasive snakes is critical for the survival of other species native to Florida. The python even eats endangered species such as the Key Largo woodrat. The National Park Service and the U.S. Department of Agriculture have joined forces to stop the spread of invasive species in Florida and the rest of the United States. Their efforts include capturing and removing the invasive snakes, spreading awareness of the problem, conducting stomach content analysis of the creatures to see if they have been eating endangered species, and developing traps to stop them.
The infestation of the Burmese python affects the environment in many ways. Hopefully. with time, these invasive snakes will be controlled in the Florida area. Failing to do so could ultimately wreak havoc on the nation's ecosystem.
[Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service]