A Slithering Spread


Associated Press Staff

A 17-foot-long Burmese python caught in the Florida Everglades.

Brendan Guillen, Reporter

As of September 10, 2018, the invasive pythons of Southeast Asia have been expanding their reach through the Florida Everglades and the entire state. According to Margaret Hunter, a UCGS geneticist responsible for a survey of the invasive species, 13 of the 400 snakes had traces of Indian python genes.

The Burmese python is marsh-loving whereas the Indian python prefers drier climates. Hunter stated “This might allow this population to expand into drier environments…maybe further to the north or outside of the Everglades…where the population is right now” Hunter stated.

More research must be conducted to uncover when the two species bred and created the potentially formidable hybrid. Regardless of when the hybrids were created, the snakes have the potential to uproot the entire states’ ecosystem if left unchecked. According to Chris Gillette, an animal expert at Everglades Holiday Park in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the snakes should not be able to sustain a severe cold snap and hence stay within the boundaries of the Everglades region.

Snake wranglers have an increased level of importance as a measure to prevent the spread of the snakes.