General Question

SeventhSense's avatar

What do you think of the Burmese Pythons that are expanding in South Florida?

Asked by SeventhSense (18899points) March 18th, 2009

On Tonight’s episode of the Daily Show there was a joke about pythons in South Florida but they are in fact an invasive species that have established themselves in the state. As a snake lover, I have always had a fondness for this snake being that I had one as a pet. His name was Monty :). They have a much nicer disposition than the Reticulated pythons (which can get larger and are the disputed longest snakes in the world.) The Burmese is a very adaptable snake and can grow to sizes over 20 feet.
Lucky the 20 ft. Adult Burmese Python
Burmese Pythons Invade Florida
Possible range in USA
ALLIGATOR INDIGESTION

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19 Answers

A_Beaverhausen's avatar

proof!

damn global warming.RECYCLE!
and Florida- stop flushing your pythons!

SeventhSense's avatar

@A Beaverhausen
Thanks for the answer

Well I would have to say that the climate has always supported the capacity for a population of these snakes, so I don’t think climate is a factor in their initial establishment but it may in fact be a factor in their ability to migrate further north.
NOTICE TO All-
I’m Hitting the sack but I will return tomorrow afternoon- probably 2–3 EST. Peace.

ninjacolin's avatar

“an invasive species” ?!

so silly. animals go where they want and they’re suppose to.
things are not supposed to stay the same the are supposed to change.
ugh.. humans have slowed down genetic progress on this earth a million times over.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

I like snakes and I think there should be more snakes everywhere. Snakes good, people bad.

asmonet's avatar

I’m just glad I don’t live there anymore.
This, and the very high amount of sex offender cases.

marinelife's avatar

@ninjacolin That’s not what’s happened. Human have brought animals to place they did not exist naturally and let them go.

HOW DID THEY GET HERE?

Typically, an invasive species is a creature that has been introduced by humans to a new location where it does not occur naturally. These invasive species become capable of establishing a breeding population without the help of humans and can spread throughout the new region. In Florida’s case many of the established invasive species arrived as a result of the pet or shipping trade. Some have even been deliberately introduced into the environment to help control pests on farms. Others have been released into the wild by owners who no longer want them.”

The pythons can just join the party. Down here in Florida we have:

Monitor Lizards

“Leaping lizards! Dangerous reptiles advance

The Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports that Nile monitor lizards, nasty, 6-foot-long, predatory reptiles brought to natural areas by the pet trade, are advancing far beyond previous projections.

The lizards were confined to a relatively small area on the outskirts of Fort Myers a couple of years ago, but now it appears they have been spotted as far away as northern Sarasota County.”

”“A large lizard capable of eating small pets and injuring children spotted in a Central Florida neighborhood tree remains on the loose, keeping homeowners on edge.””:http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/1908874/posts

Then there are the poisonous bufo toads

“These toxic toads called Giant Toads (Bufo Marinus) are native to the Amazon Basin in South America. ” Source

ninjacolin's avatar

this is going to sound harsh but.. humans are only natural too.

asmonet's avatar

You’re kinda missing the point.

Darwin's avatar

Florida has had a HUGE problem with invasive species. The nice warm weather seems to be ideal for a lot of the unwanted exotic pets. One of the things I was tasked with when I worked for the state of Florida was spotting invasive species and reporting them. I sent samples and reports to HQ daily.

I remember seeing 4-foot long Green Iguanas on the bike path along Old Cutler Road in Miami, near the Deering estate, and of course, the were those nasty but pretty Cuban Iguanas. One of them took up residence in my mail box and I didn’t get any mail for two weeks, until I could get him to leave. He bit the mailman who declared my mail box to be a “hazardous postal depository.”

I also found a cobra road kill in Goulds one time – I think I might prefer pythons to cobras. And then there are the caimans, which have alligators beat in terms of bad tempers.

And of course, there is the Melaleuca problem.

Here is an official listing of invasive reptiles in Florida for those who are interested: http://www.myfwc.com/WILDLIFEHABITATS/Nonnative_Reptiles_index.htm

asmonet's avatar

“hazardous postal depository.”

lol4rl. lurve.

ninjacolin's avatar

oh humans.. you’re such funny creatures.

syz's avatar

Florida’s native flora and fauna have been under assault for may years as the result of human interference. Released and lost exotic pets, invasive landscaping plants, sport fish – all of these have been squeezing out the natives quite successfully.

SeventhSense's avatar

@ninjacolin
You said
“animals go where they want and they’re suppose to.”
Would you say the same if your cat escaped from a vehicle on an arctic expedition and froze to death?
The fact of the matter is that these reptiles were introduced by man and not natively ocurring. There is a difference between millions of years of evolution and the natural adaptation of various species to a particular locale and the introduction of local pet owners. Hopefully we have learned through the introduction of feral pigs and cats to places like Australia and Hawaii what can happen with the introduction of such species Granted there have been some nice benefits such as brown and rainbow trout species in the great lakes, but there is generally exhaustive studies to determine if this will be an issue. And even that would more than likely not occur today.And check out the exotics link on that page. Ecosystems are too complex to fiddle with. Again this is not an issue of humans encroaching upon the domain of a snake but careless humans.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

Is it a problem taking the invasive species out of the picture? Is that a simplist view on my part? I know the only really troublesome invasive species around here are zebra mussels. they congregate on water intakes and cause thousands in damages. Well, and the carp and a few other types of fish, which some types are NOT native to northern IL. But then Starlings, Pheasant, and several other bird species aren’t native to North America. Dandelions are also not native to North America.

As for the monitor lizards, I think simply killing them when found would solve a lot of problems. Well, unless they are breeding in the wild. But surely no one is namby-pamby enough to not see that eliminating the threat by any means possible would prevent ‘hazardous postal deliveries’ as well as small pets and children being harmed by wayward exotics. A pistol shot to the head would drop a monitor lizard pretty quickly. I’m sure that they are pretty tasty grilled over a bed of hot coals, as well.

Hell, I’ve seen misinformed people chop up harmless water snakes around here with a shovel which makes me irrationally angry so maybe Florida should arm those senior citizen golfers with a weed wacker or two, and let em go at it. (okay, that last sentence was a bit facetious).

SeventhSense's avatar

@evelyns_pet_zebra
These snakes can easily eat dogs of any size when full grown and have been even known to eat deer could prove to be far more of a nuisance than imagined. In the everglades I imagine they will be equally predatory with alligators and will keep each others population in check, but elsewhere they will have few if any natural predators. And although gentle they have been known to kill humans if even just out of instinct. And as owners are aware, the power of a large snake’s constriction can kill by accident.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@SeventhSense Oh I understand about the snakes, I think my answer was focusing more on the iguana/monitor problem. I’ve had pet snakes most of my life and am quite aware of their constrictor abilities. Part of my rural education was catching prey for my pet Bull Snakes, and I know for a fact most snakes won’t eat toads. Sounds like a real mess down there, and once again it goes to show that people are unaware of the consequences of their actions. Believe me, I’ve seen my fair share of feral dogs and cats around here because some misinformed city dweller turned their no longer wanted pet loose on the assumption that some farmer would take it in. Farmers have enough problems, and enough cats and dogs of their own. Most of them simply shoot strays.

If you no longer want a pet anything and you cannot find a new home for it, the most humane thing is to have it put down. If you think that is cruel, then you have never seen a feral animal in the woods. I had to shoot a few feral cats and dogs in the past while out hunting because if I didn’t, they would have continued to be a threat to anyone else just out picking wildflowers or hiking. Feral cats are worse than feral dogs, but neither is anything I want to come across during a hike through the woods. People. Just. Don’t. Think.

SeventhSense's avatar

I have no problem if they have to be eliminated. They are not a threatened or endangered species. It’s not like the endangered Florida Panther which may actually be threatened by this snake. In fact we could probably save tens of millons of dollars as a society in taking the same approached to feral cats or dogs. Just don’t tell PETA or the ASPCA this or I’ll be hanged.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

PETA can bite my expletive removed by Fluther moderators

SeventhSense's avatar

Exactly….They can bite my expletive….too

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