SNAKES IN THE EVERGLADES
Saturday February 4th, 2012
Florida’s Everglades are in danger of losing a large proportion of their mammal population due to giant snakes that have either escaped from pet shops or been set free by their owners. The giant snakes include pythons and constrictors and they have been preying on raccoons, opossums and bobcats, among other medium sizes mammals.
Studies reveal that over the last eleven years sightings of medium sized mammals have decreased in massive percentages, up to 99% in some cases. The concern is that thousands of Burmese Pythons are now living in the Everglades where the warm humid conditions are similar to their natural habitat in South East Asia. The snakes are believed to be there due to owners releasing them in the wild and also pet shops that were damaged during Hurricane Andrew in 1992. They have been reproducing in large numbers ever since.
John Wilson a research scientist said, 'The effects of declining mammal populations on the overall Everglades ecosystem, which extends well beyond the national park boundaries, are likely to be profound,'
Burmese Pythons are a constrictor snake and therefore kill their prey by coiling round it and causing suffocation, once the prey is lifeless they are swallowed and some of their victims can be as large as an alligator.
Burmese Pythons have been banned as pets since 2010 and since then other snakes have also been banned by the government
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