Tuesday, January 31, 2012
I think we should be ok in Arizona for awhile, but I think as a country, it might be time to cut Florida loose, build a giant wall keeping the snakes in, and save the other 49 states while we still can:
Burmese pythons are eating machines. An adult snake can grow to nearly 20 ft., and it can eat everything 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....
Now a new study published in this week’s Proceedings for the National Academy of Sciences 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.