Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Pythons Eating Native Mammals in the Everglades

Michael E. Dorcas along with fellow authors of a recent study are reporting "severe apparent declines in mammal populations that coincide temporally and spatially with the proliferation of pythons in Everglades National Park (ENP). Before 2000, mammals were encountered frequently during nocturnal road surveys within ENP. In contrast, road surveys totaling 56,971 km from 2003–2011 documented a 99.3% decrease in the frequency of raccoon observations, decreases of 98.9% and 87.5% for opossum and bobcat observations, respectively, and failed to detect rabbits. Road surveys also revealed that these species are more common in areas where pythons have been discovered only recently and are most abundant outside the python's current introduced range."
Read this article in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Video of Everglades biologists hunting and capturing a python.