Details of this species in Florida (USA)
Occurrence: Established and expanding
Source: Beck et al. undated; Ferriter et al. 2006; Pitt and Witmer, 2006; Weissmueller, 2007
Introduction: Intentional, illegally
Species Notes for this Location:
Python molurus bivittatus has established a population in the Florida Everglades, a result of unwanted or intentionally released pets. Over 600 Burmese pythons were removed from Everglades National Park since 1995, with numbers increasing in the past few years indicating increasing populations (Beck et al. undated; Ferriter et al. 2006; Pitt and Witmer; 2007)
Management Notes for this Location:
Removal of Burmese pythons is performed by Florida Park Service, Fish and Wildlife, and Fire Rescue employees. The use of radio tracking, pheromone lures, traps, hand capture and locator dogs have been employed to manage and remove Burmese pythons in Florida. Additionally, state agencies are establishing regulations on the purchase and trade of invasive reptiles (Beck et al. undated; Pitt and Witmer, 2007). A special management plan is being undertaken by National Park Service staff and specialized herpetologists to control pythons in Everglades National Park. Some efforts include detailed tracking of Burmese pythons and a "Python Hotline" to report sightings and request removal. The USFWS Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act Report for the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan recommends the removal or partial removal of canals and levees which serve as means of transportation for Burmese pythons and other invasives among wetlands (Ferriter et al. 2006). Additionally, biologists recommend recquiring a liscense to own potentially invasive reptiles, as in Australia, stricter standards on snake import, and harsher penalties for snake release in the United States to prevent new invasive populations of Burmese pythons (Weissmueller, 2007).
Competition: Burmese pythons compete with Florida native snakes for habitat and prey (Beck et al. undated).
Disease transmission: Burmese pythons have the potential to transmit disease such as Inclusion Body Disease to native reptiles (Schumacher, 2006; Pitt and Wagner, 2007).
Interaction with other invasive species: Asian ticks Aponomma crassipes have been found to occur in the United States. Although its method of introduction is not certain, it has been collected on Burmese pythons representing a possible means of introduction (Burridge and Simmons, 2003).
Threat to endangered species: Burmese pythons prey on native wildlife and pose a threat to native wildlife of Florida including endangered American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) and Key Largo Wood rat (Neotoma floridana smalli) (Beck et al. undated). They are believed to also threaten mangrove fox squirrels and wood storks (Lovgren, 2005). Please see Florida's Endangered species, Threatened species, and species of special concern.
Last Modified: 8/08/2008 2:37:24 p.m.