Florida: Python named Elvis is helping stop the spread of Florida’s notorious pest

At Stuart, Florida, the war against Florida’s most notorious pest seems a bit optimistic. It looks like humans can finally have control over one of the greatest attacks on American soil: the spread of Burmese pythons.

Python breeding season occurs every year from November to March and hikes during February.

Florida: Python named Elvis is helping stop the spread of Florida's notorious pest

This season, South Florida’s python tracking program removed:

  • 86 adult pythons
  • 5,000 pounds approximate combined weight
  • 53 reproductive females
  • 2,500 developing eggs

“Our experts are committed to using innovative methods and technologies to track invasive pythons,” said U.S. Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt. “This partnership will further aid in our efforts to eliminate this growing threat to South Florida’s ecosystem and biodiversity.”

This fiscal year 2020, $142 million were committed to the management of these invasive species. The process includes prevention, early detection, rapid response, control, and research.

Conservancy python environmental science project manager Ian Bartoszek said that the radio tracking program uses 40 tagged male pythons. He says that few snakes have become his war heroes. 

“I call a few of these snakes my MVPs — Most Valuable Pythons,” Bartoszek said. “They’re led by Elvis, The King, who was tagged in 2013 and reigns as the world’s longest surviving tagged male python.”

2020-07-20

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