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Giant pythons eating Everglade mammals at 'astonishing' rate


From rabbits to deer to even bobcats, invasive Burmese pythons appear to be eating through the Everglades’ supply of mammals, new research shows.

Since the giant constrictors took hold in Florida in 2000, many previously common mammals have plummeted in number—and some, such as cottontail rabbits, may be totally gone from some areas.

Scientists already knew from dissecting the 20-foot (6-meter) snakes that they prey on a wide range of species within Everglades National Park.

But this is “the first study to show that pythons are having impacts on prey populations—and unfortunately those impacts appear to be pretty dramatic,” said study leader Michael Dorcas, a herpetologist at Davidson College in North Carolina.

“We started the study after we realized, Man, we’re not seeing a lot of these animals around anymore,” Dorcas said.

But “when we did the calculations, we were pretty astonished.”




Post Continues on news.nationalgeographic.com





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54 comments on “Giant pythons eating Everglade mammals at 'astonishing' rate
  1. Bob Macfarlane says:

    And to get rid of them the state put in a "quota" hunt a few years back. Lord only knows the color of the sky on that bureaucrats planet.

    • Cat says:

      What they need is a bounty on each one .. the good old boys of Florida will do the rest.

    • teddy says:

      Is there some way we could get Obama to investigate this problem in person. Maybe with a little salt and pepper or what ever these little snake prefer? I guess this probably would not work as snakes don't eat other snakes!

      • msbets says:

        nay, that wouldn't work, but sounds good!! all they do is talk–talk–talk, round them up and kill them, people should hang there heads in shame for getting this started!!

  2. Barbara says:

    Wow, if they eat up all of the animals, then people will have to be next on the menu for them. I would imagine that those snakes there are still breeding and making even more future snakes to contribute to the cleaning out the Everglades?

    • Noni says:

      Years ago Guam was invaded by black snakes which had fallen out of wheel wells of airliners coming to Guam. Most islands have no snakes. That means they also have no predators that kill snakes and the native animals and birds have no fear of or defense against snakes. The black snakes wiped out all the birds and animals and started going after newborns in their cradles and cribs. And these snakes weren't nearly as big as pythons.

    • RoBo says:

      Send the Democrats down there for lunch.

  3. John says:

    Florida couod turn this tragedy into a money making proposition and help preserve the native mammal species. Just promote python kill hunts and sel tourist packages to local and outstate hunters. I bet such a program could significantly impact this unwanted species.

    • Harold Clark says:

      After that they could run down the snakes in Washington,D.C. and that would really help the country and the evironment.

    • John says:

      There ya go , just that easy ! But tell that to the libby's and watch them freak out screaming "WHAT ABOUT THOSE SWEET PYTHONS ?"… GOOD LUCK TRYING TO REASON WITH IDIOTS ! Remember , never argue with a fool … They'll bring you down to their level , and beat you with experience !

    • John Hand says:

      Yes, send in the hunters unarmed and make sure they are Democrats.

  4. Don DeHoff says:

    We killed a lot of animals by setting a bounty on them, and it worked in many cases to the extreme, like the wolf, gizzley bear, etc. I have no doubt a bounty would do a lot towards eliminating this problem—might even be a market for the skins, to further the cause—perhaps a subsitute for "alligator" shoes?

    • Noni says:

      Snake steaks… and python boots.

    • dingbat36 says:

      Recently re-introduced Grey wolves in my area are an absolute nightmare. They are chowing down on rancher's lambs and calves and they are "protected" so the only people who can get rid of them are the State designated hunters. I imagine that their protected status will result in the 3S solution, shoot shovel and shut up. Those with radio controlled collars will have them smashed to bits and buried deep.

      Snakeskin is a valuable pelt and those are huge reptiles…………….go hunters AND scavengers!!

  5. Gee says:

    The Pythons Will Join The Demoncrap party and be placed on the endangered species list. Cheers Semper Fi

  6. Don DeHoff says:

    I forgot to add an important point. If we don't reduce the snake population, it will be only a mater of time before a human gets eaten, and pets of all kinds.

  7. Ray says:

    Wont be long before there will be a new Phython Burger at McDonalds, "Get them before they get you" or "Big Phython Attack at McDonalds"…

  8. Mike C. says:

    Tanning their hides would make some mighty fine looking boots – open season on the SOB's

  9. carla says:

    Personally, I am thinking a handbag would be nice! OK, maybe a couple of handbags…

  10. PeterNJ says:

    Put a $10 bounty on 'em & let the teens help clean up the problem.

  11. pierce says:

    As long as I don't encounter 1, I could care less what the pythons do.

  12. AuburnV12S says:

    Declare a year-round open season on the pythons. Let hunters (including Ted Nugent) kill the snakes for food and the hides. Doesn't snake meat taste like chicken? Make shoes and handbags out of the hides.

  13. IGotAComment says:

    The python should be hunted to extinction. It is not natural that a creature like this should be in this habitat.

  14. John says:

    This is just another reason why the US Fish & Wildlife Administration should be abolished along with other foolish federal agencies like the EPA and DOE.

  15. krdave says:

    They have no redeeming qualities. They need to be hunted and killed before we are completely overrun with them.

    • Jmflow says:

      I agree with you. The snakes should be hunted and killed. If they are left to live and reproduce it won't be long before they are all over the USA. Then they will start eating humans and their pets. Now is the time to start getting rid of the snakes.