Over the last decade, snakes from around the world have been turning up in Everglades National Park. The Burmese python is the best known and most problematic of these snakes. Despite all the attention on these snakes, park visitors are unlikely to see a python in the wild.
Burmese pythons are established in the park due to accidental or intentional release of captive pet animals. Pythons eat many different kinds of animals, and studies show that pythons are probably the main reason that mammals have declined very sharply in number in Everglades National Park. Even though pythons are large snakes, their coloring and behavior allows them to blend into the environment. Since they are so hard to find in the wild, estimating the number of pythons is very difficult.
Everglades National Park and our partners have spent more than 10 years investigating ways to remove pythons from the environment. We work to remove pythons from the park via our authorized agent program and we continue to support research on how to mitigate Burmese pythons.
The problems posed by Burmese pythons in Everglades National Park show that preventing the release of exotic animals is extremely important. Once they are established, removal becomes much, much harder. YOU have an important role to play in preventing the spread and establishment of exotic species. Don’t release unwanted pets and learn other ways you can help. Remember “Don’t Let it Loose.”
The park remains an extraordinary natural ecosystem and a wonderful place to visit. Remember, always keep a safe distance when viewing wildlife in the park (at least 15 to 20 feet; 4.5 to 6 meters) and do not harass or feed wildlife.
Learn more about Burmese python research and other invasive species work by watching this video.
Last updated: August 12, 2021