Pythons Devour Everglades Mammals

Native mammal species in decline

Jan 31, 2012
Outside Magazine

Non-native pythons are eating through the native mammal population of the Florida Everglades at an alarming rate according to a study published Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. The population declines are most obvious in small mammals—raccoons and opossums have been worst affected—but larger animals including deer and bobcats are also in decline. Researchers say they didn't see a single rabbit in the park during the nine-year study. Burmese pythons, which are not native to Florida, often end up in the Everglades after escaping from captivity or being released by petowners. "We examined all the evidence and there is enough to indict pythons but we haven't gone to trial yet," said Frank Mazzotti, a wildlife ecology professor who co-authored the study.

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