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How were they introduced into the Everglades

Although the exact origin of Burmese pythons in the Everglades can only be speculated, it is likely that many were once pets released by owners that found them too difficult to care for. An evaluation of the genetic structure of Burmese pythons sampled from Everglades National Park determined that the population is genetically distinct from pythons sampled in the native range, but within the ENP population, there is little genetic diversity. This finding either indicates that the python population is freely interbreeding or corroborates the hypothesis that the individuals originate from a specific source population, such as the pet trade.

Invasive Species

Burmese pythons are a non-native, invasive species that is eating up the Everglades’ native species and upsetting the balance of its ecosystem. It has cost $100 Billion damages in the U.S. alone.

Apex Predator Species

Apex predators (also known as alpha, super, top or top-level predators) are predators with no natural predators of their own, residing at the top of their food chain.[ Zoologist define predation as the killing and consumption of another organism but generally excluding parasites and most bacteria. In this context, "apex predator" is usually defined in terms trophic dynamics. Apex predator species occupy the highest trophic level(s) and have a crucial role in maintaining the health of their ecosystems.

What steps have been taken to control or eliminate it?

To help solve the issue, The Nature Conservancy in Florida launched Python Patrol in 2008. One of the over 400 responders trained by the Conservancy can deal directly with the situation by safely and humanely capturing and removing pythons or other exotic constrictors they encounter.

Citizens can learn how to identify pythons and other non-native animals at an in-person detector training or online. Anyone can call in snake sightings (1-888-IVE-GOT-1) to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, which now coordinates Python Patrol, and a trained responder can be dispatched.