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projects > assessing the impacts of pythons in the greater everglades: examination of diet and thermal biology of python molurus bivittatus

Assessing the Impacts of Pythons in the Greater Everglades: Examination of Diet and Thermal Biology of Python molurus bivittatus

Photo of a Burmese python
Photo courtesy of Roy Wood, National Park Service
Project Investigators: Kristen Hart, Frank J. Mazzotti, Michael E. Dorcas, Skip Snow

Project Personnel: Mike Rochford, Michael Cherkiss

Project Start Date: 2008 End Date: 2010

Recent Funding: (FY09) USGS GE PES, (FY08) USGS GE PES


Summary

The results of this project will be applied to develop a comprehensive, science-based control and containment program. This project will also increase our understanding of the impacts of Burmese pythons on native fauna in DOI and surrounding lands.

Pythons are now established and breeding in South Florida. Python molurus bivittatus has the potential to occupy the entire footprint of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Project (CERP), adversely impacting valued resources across the landscape. Proposed management and control actions must include research strategies and further evaluation of potential impacts of pythons.

Project objectives:

  • Provide science support to evaluate impacts of pythons on native biological diversity. To this end, we will determine the diet of Burmese pythons removed from Everglades National Park in 2008 and 2009.
  • To evaluate the impacts of pythons on native biological diversity and development of control measures for Burmese pythons, we must monitor temperature of pythons which serves as a proxy for activity levels.
  • Synthesize what is known with the new information provided in above objectives to develop a preliminary conceptual bioenergetic model for Burmese pythons.
  • Use resulting data to develop a better understanding of python activity and microhabitat use. Such data will allow better predictions of when animals are exposed and visible, and thus available for capture and removal.

Work Plans

 


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Script last updated: 30 January 2014 @ 12:44 PM by THF. Record creator: KP. Record last updated by: KP.