The Mighty Pythons of Florida

There have been many invasive species such as the rabbit in Australia. Now we have a carnivorous threat: the python who is literally eating Florida. Introduced Burmese pythons are firmly established in southern Florida, where they pose a serious threat to native wildlife. Burmese pythons, are native to Southeast Asia and can reach lengths greater than 20 feet. Pythons are long-lived (15 – 25 years), behavioral, habitat, and dietary generalists that are capable of producing clutches of up to 107 eggs. One new study, the first to document the ecological impacts of this invasive species, strongly supports that animal communities in this 1.5-million-acre park have been markedly altered by the introduction of pythons within 11 years of their establishment as an invasive species. Mid-sized mammals are the most dramatically affected, but some Everglades pythons are as large as 16 feet long, and their prey have included animals as large as deer and alligators.

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