Predictions that freezing weather will remove invasive pythons from the Florida Everglades seem to have been wrong given the following story. Python bivittatus is an exceptionally resilient animal that lives in a wide range of habitats, including the foothills of the Himalayas.
Freezes fail to kill off pythons in Everglades
By David Fleshler, Sun Sentinel
5:25 p.m. EDT, March 26, 2011
Record freezes and a fearsome drought have failed to kill off the Burmese pythons that have colonized the Everglades.
Six of the non-native, constricting snakes were found last week in sections of the Everglades in which they had not turned up before, including an area north of Alligator Alley, according to the South Florida Water Management District. This further dashed hopes by scientists that the past winter's cold weather could kill off the snakes, which are native to the warmer climate of southern Asia.
The snakes, which arrived in the Everglades either through intentional or accidental releases by exotic pet owners and breeders, consume native wildlife, including deer, wading birds and small alligators.
"Almost nothing stops them," said Dan Thayer, the water management district's director of vegetation and land management in a statement. "It tells us they're tough and rugged. The survival of an invasive species often depends on its ability to endure extremes. The Burmese python is overcoming a wide range of conditions in Florida, including extreme colds and a water shortage."