Everglades

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Florida has the worst problem with invasive reptiles and amphibians. Burmese pythons were first found in Florida around 1979. It is believed that the snakes were originally pets that were either dumped or escaped to the Everglades. These pythons are well adapted to live in Florida, the environment here is similar to their Southeast Asian home. Pythons were determined to be and established species in 2000.

Burmese Pythons can live 15 to 25 years. Female pythons can carry a clutch of up to 100 eggs. Pythons are wiping out mammals in the Everglades. Going to the Everglades it was always common to see such animals as rabbits, foxes opossums, bobcats, raccoons and deer after dark. In recent surveys by the Florida Fish and Wildlife reveled a “severe decline” in mammal sights. Burmese pythons consume primarily birds and mammals including two federally endangered species, the Key Largo wood rat and the wood stork. By preying on native wildlife and competing with other native predators these snakes are serious impacting Florida's natural ecology. Their size and strength makes them one of the top predators in Florida and with no natural enemies they are thriving.

Everglades National Park and Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission are working together on the Burmese python problem, one of the deadliest and competitive predators in the everglades. In January 2012 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Commission issued a ban on the importation of these pythons also prohibiting the sale to unregistered owners. To combat population of these snakes Fl Fish and Wildlife Commission held the 2013 Python challenge. A grand prize of $1500 would be given to the person who killed the most pythons and a prize was given to the person who killed the longest snake. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) announced results of the competition recently, and although the number of snakes captured 68 may seem low given the number of hunters in the field, organizers were...
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