The Invasive Species
Scientific Name: Python molurus
Weight: 70- 180 lb (male) 105-200 lb (female)
Length: 9-14 ft. (male)10 - 17 ft. (female)
Life Span: 20-30 years
Were do They Live?
How did they First Come to Florda
Burmese pythons have been reported from the saline glades and mangroves at the south end of Everglades National Park since the 1980s. The actual mechanism of introduction is not known, however it is likely that Burmese pythons escaped from a breeding facility that was destroyed during Hurricane Andrew. It is also likely that pet pythons have been released in and around the Everglades.
Because of its large size, adult Burmese pythons have few predators, with alligators and humans being the exceptions. They prey upon native species and may reduce their populations locally. Research is underway to ascertain the impacts pythons have on native mammal species. While pythons will eat common native species and exotic species such as Norway rats, they can also consume threatened or endangered native species. One python that was caught on Key Largo ate an endangered Key Largo wood rat. Burmese pythons can pose a threat to human safety. They can cause serious injury; however there have been no reports of wild pythons attacking people. Pythons may also prey upon pets such as cats and dogs. There is potential for the population to spread west towards Naples, but pythons will not likely survive outside of south Florida.