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

Containerized longleaf pine seedlings are removed from a growing tray. They are then counted and placed in a wax coated cardboard shipping box.

Longleaf Pine Restoration Helps Environment And Economy

Longleaf pine is being reintroduced into the United States ecosystem. If the restoration plan is successful, this type of pine would benefit the environment and the economy.


Bert the bluff oak resides outside the Nuclear Science Center on the University of Florida campus. Plans to construct the Innovation Nexus Building in that area for the College of Engineering have gone through several variations in order to save him and four other heritage trees in the area.

For Trees Like Bert, Special Titles Do Not Always Guarantee Special Protections

The Florida Champion Tree Register recognizes the largest tree in the state of each noninvasive species. It’s the next step of recognition up from heritage tree status, like that of Bert, the bluff oak that has affected plans for the Innovation Nexus Building at UF.


Noaa Hurr Forecast 2015

NOAA: Inactive Season Likely, Officials Aren’t Swayed

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has released a seasonal hurricane forecast. WUFT Meteorologist Marithza Calderon says it’s no surprise that they say we could be in for another inactive season.


Gulf Shores

Once Vilified, BP Now Getting Credit For Gulf Tourism Boom

The once vilified BP is now being commended for its efforts in helping to attract visitors back to the Gulf Coast. The oil company is spending more than $230 million in its efforts.


fruit drop

Citrus Greening Continues To Plague Florida Orange Groves

Described as one of the worst diseases to ever hit Florida orange groves, citrus greening is costing the state’s general fund $5.75 million. If the disease is not curbed it could be detrimental to Florida’s agriculture and economy.


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