Since reading and sharing one article about invasive species we have been particularly attentive to the challenges of pythons introduced in the Everglades. We have linked to plenty of stories about the creative approaches to solving this problem.
But we never tire of the theme.
The Burmese python caught by a team of trackers breaks a record and shows the invasive species surviving in Florida’s ecosystem despite efforts to remove those snakes.
A team searching under dense vegetation in the pine flatwoods of the Everglades late last year came upon a slithering sight, the likes of which no one had found before in those parts: 215 pounds of snake.
It was the largest Burmese python ever found in Florida, breaking a record set by the invasive species in 2016 at 140 pounds, according to the Conservancy of Southwest Florida. The reptile had 122 eggs inside her, another record for the state.
“We don’t really consider pythons big until they top 100 pounds, so now I need a new description for a 200-pound python,” said Ian Bartoszek, environmental science project manager for the group, an environmental advocacy organization. “It’s just next level for us.”
The search was like a stakeout. The team tracked its target for weeks using a “scout snake,” a male with a tracking device, which was looking to mate. The researchers had to approach at just the right time and angle. An intern with the team, Kyle Findley, dodged a punch from the snake’s body, but Ian Easterling, a biologist, wasn’t so lucky. The 215-pound Burmese python hit him in the face with her balled-up tail.
Once the team members had a solid grip, Mr. Easterling swung the snake over his shoulder and took it to a truck.
“She put up a pretty good fight,” he said at a news conference on Wednesday.
The conservancy has been following and capturing pythons for nearly 10 years in an effort to protect the native species that live in the Everglades’s ecosystem, Mr. Bartoszek said.
Burmese pythons, originally a species from Southeast Asia, actively threaten the native flora and fauna of the Florida ecosystem, where they have thrived, Mr. Bartoszek said. The snake has become a predator to many other animals, particularly the white-tailed deer found in wooded areas throughout the United States…
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