When you take an airboat ride in the Everglades out of Fort Lauderdale, you will likely see some of the incredibly rich array of wildlife that makes their home in The River of Grass. The list of amazing animals native to the area includes graceful birds like the roseate spoonbill as well as lumbering alligators and black bears.
The list does not include Burmese pythons, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t out there.
The Delicate Balance of the Everglades Eco-System Upset by Invasive Pythons
Pythons are not native to South Florida. Irresponsible pet owners who let their snakes loose in The Everglades are responsible for a devastating problem that now threatens the delicate balance of nature. These large snakes have nothing to worry about in the Everglades, they are at the top of the food chain, and they have lots to eat.
Invasive pythons are drastically reducing the numbers of many native species in the Everglades, from rabbits and raccoons to deer. “Due to their large size, the snakes have few predators and will consume a variety of animals, including mammals, birds and even alligators,” Live Science says.
Something that is big enough and bad enough to take on an alligator and win is obviously not a light eater. Sadly, some of the animals they eat are on the threatened or endangered species list.
“The Burmese python is one of the largest snakes in the world,” the Florida Wildlife Commission reports. “Adult Burmese pythons caught in Florida average between 1.8 m (6 ft) and 2.7 m (9 ft); the largest Burmese captured in Florida measured over 5.4 m (18 ft) in length.”
For years, the state has been sponsoring python hunts that have not only cut down on the numbers of pythons but have also helped to draw attention to the problem. But more needs to be done – much more. Some have suggested putting pythons on the menu.
Scientists and Florida wildlife officials have to worry about invasive pythons in the Everglades, but you don’t. Our Everglades tours from Fort Lauderdale have never been bothered by pythons!