Pythons Battling Alligators for Control of Everglades

Friday, February 03, 2012
Alligator and python in combat (photo: Lori Oberhofer, National Park Service)
Unless you’re an alligator or an enormous snake, the southernmost part of the Florida Everglades is not the place to live for the rest of the animal kingdom.
Pythons and anacondas have been growing in numbers in Everglades National Park, and between them and the gators, many mammal species are rapidly disappearing into the carnivores’ stomachs.
Researchers say more than 99% of raccoons are now gone, along with nearly the same percentage of opossums, 94% of white-tailed deer and about 88% of bobcats. Marsh and cottontail rabbits, as well as foxes, could not be found.
The large snakes were either released by pet owners into the Everglades or they found their way there after Hurricane Andrew destroyed pet shops in 1992. The snakes are expanding in large numbers because they can lay anywhere from 50 to 100 eggs.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
To Learn More:
Pythons Apparently Wiping Out Everglades Mammals (by Matt Sedensky, Sci-Tech Today)
Burmese Python: Species Profile (National Park Service)

Invasive Pythons in the United States: Ecology of an Introduced Predator (by Michael E. Dorcas and John D. Willson, University of Georgia Press) 


Leave a comment