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REAL WORLD EVENT DISCUSSIONS
Invaders: How Burmese Pythons Are Devouring the Everglades
Wednesday, February 1, 2012 9:42 AM
Gettin' old, but still a hippie at heart...
Quote:Burmese pythons are eating machines. An adult snake can grow to nearly 20 ft., and it can eat everything from raccoons to bobcats to deer to alligators, killing its prey by constriction and then swallowing them whole. On the jungle food chain, Burmese pythons rest near the top.
Burmese pythons are also — as the name might suggest — not local to the U.S. But they are a popular pet, imported to this country from their native habitat in India and Southeast Asia. And sometimes those pets escape from their owners or are simply let go — especially in Florida, a nexus of the imported wildlife trade and one of the few parts of the U.S. with a climate and landscape to which the pythons can easily adapt. That’s how hundreds or even thousands of Burmese pythons have managed to establish themselves in the Florida Everglades — the vast protected wetlands in the southern Florida — where they’ve become a persistent challenge for local officials tasked with protecting endangered wildlife.
Now a new study published in this week’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) suggests just how big a threat the invasive Burmese pythons have become. Researchers led by Michael Dorcas of Davidson College in North Carolina looked at the distribution of mammals in the Everglades nearly 20 years ago — before Burmese pythons established themselves in the area — and then more recently. They found a drastic reduction in the number of small mammals that are typically part of a python’s diet, and they also discovered that the remaining mammals tend to be most abundant in areas that are either clear of pythons or where the snakes have only recently been spotted. The evidence is strong enough to suggest that invasive Burmese pythons are causing significant wildlife loss in the Everglades — and that the problem could worsen as the snakes continues to grow.
Dorcas told the BBC that the Burmese pythons are rearranging the food chain in the Everglades:Quote:Any snake population — you are only seeing a small fraction of the numbers that are actually out there. They are a new top predator in Everglades National Park — one that shouldn’t be there.
We have documented pythons eating alligators, we have also documented alligators eating pythons. It depends on who is biggest during the encounter.While the snakes have been spotted in the Everglades for at least the past 20 years, they were only recognized as fully established in 2000. Wildlife officials have tried to remove the snakes — 400 were taken out in 2009 — but the damage may already be done. The PNAS researchers looked at data from detailed nighttime road surveys of the Everglades between 2003 and ’11, and compared that data with similar roadkill surveys taken between 1993 and ’99 and road surveys done in ’96 and ’97. They found:
• A 99.3% decrease in the frequency of raccoon observations.
• A 98.9% decrease in the frequency of opossum observations.
• A 87.5% decrease in the frequency of bobcat observations.
• A total failure to detect any rabbits.
More at http://ecocentric.blogs.time.com/2012/01/31/invaders-how-burmese-pythons-are-devouring-the-everglades/#ixzz1lA12GT2H
Quote:Any snake population — you are only seeing a small fraction of the numbers that are actually out there. They are a new top predator in Everglades National Park — one that shouldn’t be there.
We have documented pythons eating alligators, we have also documented alligators eating pythons. It depends on who is biggest during the encounter.
Wednesday, February 1, 2012 9:53 AM
Wednesday, February 1, 2012 10:00 AM
Wednesday, February 1, 2012 10:12 AM
Quote:Just when you thought it couldn't get any freakier than pythons slithering around South Florida, along comes another reptile to brighten your day.
This one has four legs, sharp claws, is native to South America, and just might take down your chihuahua.
It's called the tegu lizard.
"We've seen a bunch of 'em and we've been able to trap a bunch of 'em, too," said wildlife biologist Dennis Giardina of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Just like pythons and iguanas before them, the tegu is breeding in the wild because people had them as pets and let them go.
Once they grow to be three feet long and turn from cute to slightly menacing, they become a pain to take care of, too, and many pet owners think it's OK to let Timmy the Tegu out the back door.
That's how the problem starts.
Wednesday, February 1, 2012 10:15 AM
America loves a winner!
Quote:Originally posted by Niki2:
I swear, sometimes we are an especially selfish, short-sighted, self-destructive species. Not to mention just plain stupid.
Wednesday, February 1, 2012 10:27 AM
Wednesday, February 1, 2012 3:46 PM
Beir bua agus beannacht
Wednesday, February 1, 2012 3:55 PM
Wednesday, February 1, 2012 6:51 PM
Wednesday, February 1, 2012 6:52 PM
Wednesday, February 1, 2012 11:30 PM
Quote:Originally posted by RionaEire:
The meat would be good except that it was said above that they've tested it and it has too much murcury in it, might not be the safest thing to eat.
"A completely coherant River means writers don't deliver" KatTaya
Thursday, February 2, 2012 4:13 AM
Freedom is Important because People are Important
Thursday, February 2, 2012 4:48 AM
Thursday, February 2, 2012 8:22 AM
Friday, March 23, 2012 7:29 PM
Saturday, March 24, 2012 6:26 AM
Saturday, March 24, 2012 11:36 AM
Monday, April 23, 2012 4:58 PM
Tuesday, April 24, 2012 2:34 PM
Thursday, April 26, 2012 2:32 PM
Thursday, April 26, 2012 4:54 PM
"Well, so long Earth. Thanks for the air... and what-not." -Philip J. Fry
Sunday, February 2, 2014 12:37 AM
Sunday, February 2, 2014 11:18 AM
Sunday, February 2, 2014 11:29 AM
Today, scientists sound the alarm on other environmental dangers. Vested interests still hire their own scientists to confuse the issue. But in the end, nature will not be fooled. Neil deGrasse Tyson
Sunday, February 2, 2014 5:54 PM
Sunday, February 2, 2014 6:28 PM
Sunday, February 2, 2014 7:46 PM
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