FAQs: Burmese Pythons in Florida

 

Where have Burmese pythons been seen in Florida?

In south Florida, Burmese pythons are found throughout Everglades National Park, Southern Glades Wildlife and Environmental Area and adjacent areas. Recently, pythons have been seen in Everglades Wildlife Management Area, and they have been found in Big Cypress National Preserve and Collier-Seminole State Park. Individual pythons have been reported in several cities around Florida.

Where are Burmese pythons found in South Florida?

Burmese pythons are frequently found in or near the water, although they are capable of climbing. Occasionally, pythons are seen in the water during warm months, but most pythons are found crossing roads at night during summer and fall.

During cooler months, Burmese pythons can be found on levees along the edge of canals. On cool mornings, pythons will often lay in the edge of vegetation on the eastern side of canals; after warming up, they will move away from the edges later in the day.

Breeding takes place from January through April. In these months, females and males can be found together in the fringe of vegetation on the edge of canals with permanent water. Breeding females are typically larger than males; after laying eggs, females will guard the "nest" for weeks until hatching.

How big are they?

Burmese pythons of all sizes have been found in the Everglades. The largest snake was over 16 feet long and weighed over 100 pounds. Most Burmese pythons are between 6 and 10 feet long, and are larger than almost all native snakes. In their native range, Burmese pythons commonly reach 18 feet, and the largest specimens exceed 20 feet.

Where are they from?

Burmese pythons are native to Asia, from eastern India through Vietnam and southern China. They are not found in extreme southern Thailand, Myanmar or Western Malaysia, but occur on the islands of Java, Bali, Sumbawa and a small part of Sulawesi.

What is the Python Permit Program?

The Python Permit Program is a permit program that allows Floridians to transport live  Burmese pythons and other conditional reptiles on three Wildlife Management Areas (Everglades and Francis S. Taylor WMA, Holey Land WMA, and Rotenberger WMA) in South Florida. Live captured Burmese pyhtons and other conditional reptiles must be turned in to the FWC.

How can people kill nonnative species?

There are no laws outside of animal cruelty laws and general prohibitions for the take of wildlife that dictate how to kill nonnative species.

Florida State Statute prohibiting cruelty to animals External Website

General prohibitions for the taking of wildlife External Website

 

 

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