Backyard Pythons? SLR/IRL

Skilled hunters, Burmese Pythons are one of the five largest species of snakes in the world and native to South and Southeast Asia. They are a threatened species in their native lands, but today there are breeding populations in a new environment, the Florida Everglades.  Image public domain.

I have this dream that I am enjoying walking around in my garden,  I look down, and there is a seventeen-foot python curled up under my house. Sounds ridiculous, but one day this may not be that far fetched.

This past week, the Florida Wildlife Commission (FWC) https://myfwc.com held their meeting at the Hutchinson Island Marriott, just over the Ernest Lyons Bridge from Sewall’s Point. One of the things they discussed was the overpopulation of Burmese Pythons that are ravaging native wildlife in Everglades National Park and other parts of South Florida.

I have been vaguely aware of this for years. My previous Sewall’s Point neighbor was a python enthusiast. Around 2012, he wrote TCPalm a letter to the editor in the python’s defense arguing that the Burmese Python did not bring itself to South Florida, people did! According to FWC pet pythons have been released since the 1960s but it was after Hurricane Andrew’s 1992 destruction that a breeding facility was destroyed, pythons escaped, the population exploded, and a breeding community arose.

I do believe “in all God’s Creatures,” but this is a nightmare-dynamic for Florida’s native wildlife. Public speakers noted Everglades National Park is “devoid of small mammals.” This is not an exaggeration, perhaps down 98%, and “small mammals” are not just what’s for dinner. Meals also include birds, eggs, bobcats, deer, alligators and who knows what else. Mr. Kipp Frohlich of FWC estimates a range from tens-of-thousands to over three-hundred-thousand snakes could be living in the Everglades. We really don’t know. One was even found in Florida Bay all curled up on a buoy. Oh yes, they can swim.

If I were a python and my friends and I  had eaten everything down south, what would I do? I’d slither north…

Opossums, armadillos, and families of raccoons visit my yard a few times a week. ~For now…

python-snake, public image

 

Please see links to learn about what is being done to controll and educate ourselves on the python:

FWC Presentation

Division: Habitat and Species Conservation
Authors: Sarah Funck, Kristen Sommers, and Melissa Miller, Ph.D. Report date: July 2019

https://myfwc.com/media/21029/10b-presentation-python.pdf

 

Smithsonian article shared by SFWMD:  Snake Landia_Smithsonian Article_07-2019

*Florida still allows breeders of Burmese Pythons in Florida, but they can only sell the animals outside of the state. All things considered, at the meeting, FWC Commissioner Gary Lester questioning the wisdom in this. I agree. Considering this is how pythons got out of control in the first place.

The Florida Channel videos of FWC meetings in Hutchinson Island; pythons: day 2:

https://thefloridachannel.org/videos/7-17-19-florida-fish-wildlife-conservation-commission-part-2/

https://thefloridachannel.org/videos/7-18-19-florida-fish-wildlife-conservation-commission/

8 thoughts on “Backyard Pythons? SLR/IRL

  1. My wife wouldn’t want me to like anything related to pythons! 🙂

    It is fortunate that Florida changed building codes after Andrew but it is truly unfortunate that we didn’t learn from the release of pythons after Andrew. Florida has been slow to react to pythons as well as to the nutrient runoff into our water…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Years back my dad pointed out that my cast net I throwed under an oak tree was killing all the blacki snakes. Sure enough time and time again there was a bunch of black snakes dead in my cast net. The 1/2 iinch mesh smelled like fish from menhadden gilled and not removed.Maby this info can turn the tables on the python. I have since kept my cast net in a bucket and we have lots of black snakes.

    Like

  3. Once snake body is off the ground —aparantly— their side to side wiggle don’t work. Maby if you can get this info to the right person it might be a game changer.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This Python mess is like everthing else—pure hindsight—-they could have had male exotic pets on the east coast and females on the west coast and this pet trade would have never lost a dime. Today someone was bit by a shark here local—-it was not bad but the rules on sharks and the overpopulation in the lagoon spells deep trouble in the future.They are going to wait until someones kid is being eatin alive in a bloody pool going viril on the internet before any action will take place.

    Liked by 1 person

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