UF researchers studying Burmese pythons

By on January 22nd, 2013

University of Florida researchers are analyzing the Burmese pythons harvested as part of Florida’s “Python Challenge.” According to the event website, the purpose of the challenge is to raise public awareness about Burmese pythons and the threat they pose to the Everglades ecosystem.

The challenge began Jan. 12, and more than two dozen pythons have been killed and UF experts are using them for research. Researchers said the large number of hunters will help them gather more information about the snakes.

Dr. Frank Mazzotti, a UF wildlife ecology professor, said his team is in charge of species management, meaning all of the snakes caught during the challenge will be brought to them for research.

He and his team will be using samples taken from the necropsies to address questions regarding genetics and contaminants they could be carrying and further diet studies.

Though the researchers are currently working with 27 snakes, they are expecting more when the challenge ends on Feb. 10. They are waiting until the challenge is over to make any certain analysis about the python’s effect on Florida’s native wildlife.

Additional updates on the number of snakes harvested will be posted on the Python Challenge website.

This entry was posted in Environment and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

More Stories in Environment

The University of Florida boasts one of the largest bat houses in North America. Bats not only remove pests, but they promote regrowth by dropping seeds.

Gainesville’s Link To October Extends Far Beyond Halloween

Gainesville holds a special connection to National Bat Appreciation Month, housing one of the largest bat houses in North America and a thriving bat population. Bats influence local agriculture by removing pests and dropping seeds that promote regrowth.

Dr. Mark Cunningham (right) measures the length of a 4-year-old Florida panther. The panther was killed by a car on I-75 in Collier County. Jordanne Laurito/WUFT News

Florida Panther Deaths Still a Problem, Despite Population Growth

The panther population is relatively small and they are often at risk for getting hit by a car. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is aiming to keep the panther population as safe and healthy as possible.

Microbeads, plastic fragments found in foaming soaps and other hygiene products, pose a threat to waterways and marine life once they are washed down the drain.

Microbeads In Everyday Products Damages Ecosystems

Microbeads, like the ones found in common toothpastes and facial products, are damaging the environment more than many people know. The particles in these beads can enter oceans and rivers, disrupting marine life and causing damage to the ecosystem.

Jim Karels, director of the Florida Forest Service, recently received an award from the National Association of State Foresters for his success in doing prescribed burns in Florida.

State Forester Recognized For National Impact

A Florida forester received a national award for fire prevention. He calls prescribed burns the “single most important” land management tool in the state.

At the Alachua County Materials Recovery Facility, workers find many people are recycling aseptic containers, like a soymilk carton, into the wrong recycling bin. “We do take those, but they go in your blue bin, or in your co-mingle bin, with all the other containers,” said Jeff Klugh, recycling program coordinator at the Alachua County Public Works Waste Management Division. “They are sorted as a container, not as a paper product.”

Alachua County Ranks Seventh Statewide In Successful Recycling

Contamination in recycling has lead to deficit for the national recycling industry. Alachua County has managed to remain successful due to their dual stream system.

Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments