In an AP article written by Brian Skoloff that appeared in my yesterday’s newspaper: “The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) announced this week that pythons were going to be hunted by snake experts in an effort to eradicate the pythons from hundreds of thousands of acres in south Florida presently infested with them. South Florida and the Everglades National Park may have tens of thousands of pythons.
These snakes were probably both released by individual pet owners who freed their snakes into the wild when they grew too large to keep as pets and Burmese pythons escaped in 1992 from pet shops hit by hurricane Andrew. These snakes have been reproducing in the wild for nearly twenty years, producing as many as 100 eggs at a time, with no natural predators in Florida to control their population.
Experts in the Everglades National Park have captured hundreds of pythons in the park over the past several years. A new program is starting to try to eradicate the pythons before they become established out in the open Everglades where they would have a million acres of habitat. On Friday morning the FWC held a news conference to announce the program and then took reporters by airboats to a hunting camp in the Everglades to show the wetlands habitat to the group. Upon arrival at the camp, a 9 and ½ foot-long python was spotted and captured, within an hour of their first setting out. They had expected it would be highly unlikely to actually see a python since they can be hard to find supposedly. The program will last for months and hopefully reduce the python population significantly.”
Sounds to me like those snakes are already too well established for their numbers to be reduced to the point of near eradication. Those pythons are in south Florida to stay!
I first heard about this situation last fall, 2008. I wrote a poem about it then:
Florida Has Pythons! http://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1473636