Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Invading giant snakes threaten U.S wilderness areas | Lifestyle | Reuters

Invading giant snakes threaten U.S wilderness areas | Lifestyle | Reuters: "MIAMI (Reuters) - Burmese pythons and other giant snakes imported as pets could endanger some of America's most important parks and wilderness areas if they are allowed to multiply, according to a report released on Tuesday.

Wildlife experts say the Burmese python is distributed across thousands of square miles (kilometers) in south Florida. There could be tens of thousands in the Everglades, a wildlife refuge that is home to the Florida panther and other endangered species."

And a whole bunch of other species too. They are breeding. It seems that Floridians buy themselves a nice python or boa, feed it the occasional mouse, and enjoy showing their friends their cool pet. But then it gets big enough to eat their kids, so they haul it off to the Everglades and leave it there. Problem solved. For them.


DBX said...

This has been a growing problem for many years. In recent years it has escalated because the pythons have started going after alligators. The park service came across one particularly gruesome discover a couple of years ago; a python had half swallowed a live alligator which then destroyed the python clawing its way from the inside out but was asphyxiated or something in the process.

Anonymous said...

It isn't just huge snakes, but also large lizards. The Cape Coral area has been infested with Nile monitor lizards, again, brought in as pets.

The Nile monitor lizards have also attempted to attack the gators, but usually lose the battle.

Evan McKenzie said...

This could become quite a problem, if it isn't already. At some point it isn't a matter of loose animals--it is a case of invasive species that become permanently established. As the article says, these huge snakes could wipe out species of small animals and birds. The fish and game people are trying to control these huge Asian carp that are in our rivers and lakes, before they end up taking over the Great Lakes. You look ten or twenty years down the road and there could be some major transformations in our habitats.