Friday, November 18, 2011

More Opinions on Invasive Pythons

The Orlando Sentinel web site is carrying an opinion piece on the Everglades' python problem this morning that seems to be motivated by photos of large snakes eating deer. The writer states,
"Last year, the Legislature sought to wrestle some control by banning the import, sale, breeding and possession as pets of six species of large constrictor snakes. The problem, though, is that breeders can still possess, breed and import the slithery troublemakers for their business. That leaves Florida, and its wildlife and habitat, still vulnerable. It's people, too — as we saw with the tragic 2009 death of a Sumter County 2-year-old, crushed to death in her crib by a starving family pet python that tried to eat her. 
"It's time the Sunshine State get an assist from a more authoritative source — the White House. The Obama administration has been sitting on a proposed rule to ban the interstate transport and importation throughout the country of the most harmful constrictors, those identified in a 2009 U.S. Geological Survey as posing the most risk to America's natural resources."
 The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed to target eleven species of large constrictors in March including some not currently banned under Florida law. Two, or more, of the  species have already established populations; and, some see these snakes as serious threat to the Florida panther and Key deer as well as other native wildlife.

While I can appreciate the writers' viewpoint. The python is already out of the bag. Preventing future colonization and contributions to the already established gene pool is useful, but the real damage has already been done. The pythons are already established. If there are any lessons to be learded from Guam's brown tree snake invasion, its that invasive snakes probably can not be eradicated once they are established.

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