Burmese pythons and the harm they bring

the increasing spread of Burmese pythons


Olivia hall, student

The Burmese python is a dangerous snake that has been causing chaos in the Everglades National Park and now trailing down to the Florida Keys. These snakes are not native to the area, and they are originally from Asia. They were brought to our ecosystem by humans. The Burmese pythons have been released by past owners out into the wild or deconstruction of a python breeding facility due to hurricane Andrew in 1992. They have no natural predators in the area and have been able to thrive in the warm, wet environment in the Everglades.  


Burmese pythons can grow up to 23 feet long and weigh over 200 pounds. They are good hunters and can eat prey that is larger than themselves. That has led to a decline in the native wildlife population in the Everglades. Small animals, birds, and reptiles are all at risk of being consumed by these snakes. Burmese pythons are endangering, raccoons, possums, bobcats, rabbits, fox rodents, and other small animals. 


The Burmese python is also a potential danger to humans. While attacks on humans are rare, there have been times where people have been killed by these snakes. The enormous size of the pythons makes them difficult to control. They can easily overpower a human if they feel threatened.  


Efforts are being made to control the population of Burmese pythons in the Everglades. Hunting and trapping programs have been put in place to try to reduce the number of snakes in the area. Florida natives are also trying to educate the public about the dangers of releasing non-native species into the wild.  


Some other fun facts about this huge snake are, Burmese pythons are constrictors, which means they wrap their bodies around their prey and squeeze until the animal suffocates. These snakes can go months without eating and have been known to consume prey that is up to 75% of their own body weight. The Burmese python has also been able to eat an entire alligator or anything five times the size of its head! Burmese pythons are excellent swimmers and can stay underwater for up to 30 minutes at a time. Female Burmese pythons can lay up to 100 eggs at a time and will coil around the eggs to protect them until they hatch. These snakes have heat-sensing pits on their faces that allow them to detect prey even in complete darkness. And lastly, Burmese pythons are often kept as pets, but they require a lot of space and can be dangerous if not handled properly. I would never though!! 


Overall, the Burmese python is a dangerous predator that is causing harm to the ecosystem of the Everglades National Park. While efforts are being made to control the population of these snakes, it is important for people to be aware of the potential danger they bring to both wildlife and humans because of the animals they are putting in danger. the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) lists Burmese pythons as an Injurious Species under the Lacey Act, preventing the importation of these constrictor snakes into the United States.