Snake hunters fight python invasion in Florida
The state of Florida has hired a select team of 25 hunters kill thousands of Burmese pythons to fighting a contamination in the Everglades.
A genetic study, published on Sunday, came the question whether not a super snake could occur in the Florida Everglades after it was revealed that a small number of Burmese and Indian pythons are breeding.
The journal Ecology and Evolution reported that experts examined the tail tissue of 400 caught snakes of South Florida and found 13 had a number of genetic indicators that refer to Indian pythons, according to The Miami Herald.
The Indian pythons, unlike the Burmese pythons, prefer high and dry terrain, the report said.
Margaret Hunter, a geneticist at the U. S. Geological Survey and lead author of the report, said the Indian pythons have a “wider range.”
Hunter said seeing the Indian marker was “unexpected” and they had to keep looking at the data “to ensure that what they saw was right.”
DNA research shows that the Everglades pythons can grow bigger. https://t.co/jfzJFovO7B pic.twitter.com/xyRPiH2FYV
— Dennis Jansen (@dennisjansen) August 25, 2018
Tens of thousands of pythons are estimated to be slithering through the Everglades. Scientists say that the giant constrictor snakes, which can grow more than 20 meters long, have eliminated 99 percent of the native mammals in the Everglades, decimated food for the native predators such as panthers and alligators.
The area was also a habitat for American crocodiles, one of the protected native species in the Everglades officials say that they are losing ground to the invasive pythons.
Hunter said in the report that it is unclear how the species was crossed, but scientists believe that the snakes can the north due to the warming of the planet.
“Such a large population enables them to adapt,” she said. “If some animals die out because of climatic problems, there are other animals that can’t die.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report