First thought? Kill 'em.
"The Burmese python is one of the six largest snakes in the world and can reach up to 7m (23ft) in length and a weight of up to 90 kilos (198lb)."
Second thought - with WHAT?
Pesky pythons are wiping out mammals and birds – some of which are protected species – in Florida's Everglades National Park, according to a new study. Open-mouthed Burmese python What's for dinner? Credit: Mannes Fotos (GNU license) Non-native Burmese pythons are chowing down on the local populace to such an extent that …
"Nobody is sure exactly how the snakes were introduced to American ecosystems, although it's likely that many of the species arrived as pets and then escaped or were released into the wild."
Both are perfectly plausible, though the latter is more likely. It's the same reason why Ft. Lauderdale is over-run with iguanas. Pet's size becomes impractical, pet gets dumped into the intracoastal, pet breeds like crazy in the favourable environment.
Interesting to see that there's an active programme of spaying and neutering of them going on at the moment , (instead of extermination). Wonder if they could do the same for the snakes?
If your snake's going to live 30-40years, getting bigger all the time, then being neutered is not going to change that much.
About 10% of americans own a reptile. A good few of these grow to unfeasible size so get dumped (see also: baby tigers worth thousands $$, adult tigers zero or less), and this will continue to be the case... So neutered or not, there's the new influx on top of the older ones that will live for decades.
Pythons and Boas can easily catch respiratory infections that kill them. Winter temperatures in northern Florida are cold enough to keep them from migrating further north.
We have a boa, and we keep the cage around at around 80F. We have to be careful in the winter on how long he is taken out of the cage because the room is 68F. He caught a RI this winter and had to go on antibiotics.
How topical! http://wondermark.com/793/
Seriously, though, how the hell does a snake that size catch rabbits and birds? Either they are a lot more agile (and stealthy) than you'd think possible, or they really do practice hypnosis. (Remember Kaa in The Jungle Book?) And leopards? An adult leopard can easily kill a human (disembowelment with the hind claws is a standard technique) as well as being fast and nimble.
How does the native Burmese wildlife manage to survive? If it were my problem to solve, I'd start out by finding out all I could about that question.
In Florida, as with *any* populated area, the apex predator is the human.
Other species can pretend to be the apex predator as long as they don't start bragging about it and drawing attention to themselves. Your local conservation group can no doubt supply you with a list of species that didn't realise this until it was too late.
"In Florida, as with *any* populated area, the apex predator is the human."
Huh? The Python is naturally equipped for its role. If you were just walking through the grass and one of them started wrapping itself around you there is nothing you could do. Man is only the "Apex Predator" when prepared and hunting with tools/traps. On a straight bare-skin one-on-one we're a tasty treat for many of the animals we kill.
"Huh? The Python is naturally equipped for its role. If you were just walking through the grass and one of them started wrapping itself around you there is nothing you could do. Man is only the "Apex Predator" when prepared and hunting with tools/traps. "
Thus his intelligence and ability to use tools made him apex, like it or not.
If it encounters one of those, it doesn't. The *species* survives by breeding more than the predators can eat. If the predators get too good at catching prey, the prey population collapses and the predator populations follows a little while later. Mathematicians can have fun with this (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lotka-Volterra_equation).
In their home environment a lot of snakes are remarkably well camouflaged, and ones like these are ambush predators they can stay in the same spot basically not moving for days until something comes near enough.
It helps they can go a really long time between meals if they get a big enough meal.
Wouldn't suprise me if in Burma they tend to get larger meals easily, and that theres more predators that like baby sized boas keeping the population down.
Think of what will happen when a kid gets eaten? So my solution is for a bounty to be put on them, plus lets see some tasty Python recipes. In my experience any creature with value or s tasty has been usually hunted to extinction or the verge of. Yes lots of Red Necks in the swamps with guns, whats not to like?
In each of them I've seen, they've been trying to round up and/or kill the pythons, and have been for years. Obviously the pythons have been reproducing faster than they can capture/kill them. An important message from the Dept of the Obvious. :)
Paris, cuz she's seen a few snakes
The real issue with non-native animals occurs when the animals escape or are released by their owners into these new habitats in which they can wreak havoc. This is even more important when you look at the effect on already fragile environments. Invasive species have had quite the effect on Hawaii http://www.uhaul.com/supergraphics/states/hawaii/spider/index2.html
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