WUFT News

Gainesville Researcher’s Python Trap Could Be Used In The Everglades

By on November 1st, 2013

A wildlife biologist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Research Center in Gainesville is conducting testing using a special trap he designed to capture pythons in Florida.

John Humphrey designed the trap to eliminate raccoons, or any other small mammals. The trap can only capture large constrictor snakes in South Florida because native snakes are too small set off the trap.

“By developing the trap with the two trip pans that have to be pressed at the same time, otherwise the trap stays set, we hope that when we get to the field that it will exclude these non-target species which include both native snakes and small mammals,” Humphrey said.

Pythons in the Florida Everglades are threatening native species, he said.

“They compete with native wildlife for food resources. And they have been shown to feed on the Key Largo wood rat, which is an endangered species,” Humphrey said. “So it’s a prey competition; they’re competing with our native wildlife for food items and that’s the largest problem.”

The traps could be used in the wild now, but they have not officially been used in the field to capture pythons.

“When our collaborators in South Florida request these for use, we will give them to them,” he said.

Humphrey plans on continuing testing the traps using pythons and pheromones. He also aims to test if the trap can be used on other reptile species, like the black and white Argentine tegus and Nile monitors.

The trap will work on the reptiles, Humphrey thinks, because they have long, heavy bodies, like pythons.

The trap may still need adjustments.

“It’s not a silver bullet. It’s just another tool in the tool box that you would have to use to try to fix the problem,” he said.

The trap’s potential impact in the Everglades is unknown until more research is done in Gainesville, Humphrey said.

Five pythons, ranging in age, are being used in the study. They were all found wild in the Everglades.

Related: Florida’s python problem continues after amateur hunters, attention fade away


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

More Stories in Environment

Citrus Greening

Saving Florida Orange Juice: The Search For A Cure For Citrus Greening – The Greening Series, Part 3

Nutrient supplements, root stock additives, genetic modification, heat therapies and a bacterial killer are just a few of the proposed solutions to what has been called the worst disease in history to hit Florida orange groves. Citrus greening, a bacterial [...]


Citrus  Greening

How A Fourth Generation Citrus Farmer Fights To Save His Grove – The Greening Series, Part 2

Steve Futch, UF IFAS Extension agent, and family farmer, Mac Turner, right, tour the new orange tree plantings on Turner’s family farm in Arcadia, Fla. in April 2014. (Heather van Blokland/WUFT) Citrus farmer Mac Turner is fighting to keep his [...]


The Orange Bird is a cartoon character mascot created in 1970 by Disney for the Florida Citrus Commission.   A likeness of the famous icon now hangs in the hallway of Florida Citrus Mutual CEO Mike Sparks.

Why The Orange Is So Important to Florida – The Greening Series, Part 1

In our first of a three-part series on citrus greening, WUFT’s Heather van Blokland takes us through a bit of history on Florida’s connection to the orange


VIDEO: Horse Protection Association Of Florida

Because of flooding on 150 acres of Micanopy land, the Horse Protection Association of Florida is in need of dry land for its rescues. A suitable area was found for 23 of the horses, but HPAF’s Morgan Silver worries about organizing the funds to continue paying rent.


Horse

Small-Scale Horse Operations Guide to Protect Florida Water

The Florida Department of Education released a manual for small-scale horse operation best management practices in order to help preserve the state’s water resources.


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
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments