NAPLES, Fla. — The Burmese python is on Florida’s most-wanted list when it comes to invasive species. The snake could devastate parts of the state’s ecosystem and cause environmental damage.
A good example surfaced recently when the Conservancy of Southwest Florida captured a Burmese python engorged on a baby white-tailed deer.
The group documented the snake eating the deer and then regurgitating the animal in Collier-Seminole State Park in Naples, Fla., in 2015.
“This is believed to be the largest predator/prey ratio ever documented for the Burmese python, and possibly for any species of python,” organization officials said in a post on Facebook.
“This observation is another important piece of evidence for the negative impact invasive Burmese pythons are having on native wildlife across the Greater Everglades Ecosystem,” Conservancy biologist Ian Bartoszek said during a press conference on the incident.
“Imagine the potential consequences to the state and federally protected Florida panther if Burmese pythons adversely affect the number of white-tailed deer, a panther’s primary prey,” Bartoszek said.
The Burmese python is a constrictor and one of the largest snakes on the planet.
The group studied the incident and recorded details that will be published in the March 2018 issue of Herpetological Review.
Conservancy scientists are also tracking about 20 pythons as part of a fieldwork project into python behavior in order to learn more about the snakes. They’re hoping the project will help them control and manage the population.
Cox Media Group