“You’re a snake” is what many people say to others today. A backstabber is what defines a snake. Many people hate snakes, which includes the reptiles themselves. In the Everglades alone, there are approximately more than 30,000 Burmese pythons (Wilson). This does not account for all the pythons in Florida, due to the difficulty of spotting them. The Burmese python is the type of python considered an invasive species to Florida, and this species affects the food chain, killing off necessary predators and affecting mammals and the ecosystem overall. Although it is not a very important issue to many, the ecosystem is what sustains our life overall, since the ecosystem is what human welfare depends on, and include everything from clean air and water to food and fuel.
The Burmese python is a massive beast, growing to be longer than 16 feet, and weighing up to 200 pounds. They are also great climbers and swimmers, and lay eggs unlike boa constrictors, another big specie of snake (Raloff, 2012). Striking their prey in less than 70 milliseconds, faster than the blink of a human eye (200 ms), and constricting with enough force to bend a rod of steel (Cox, 2016), the python is one of the most harming species that are currently present in the Everglades. Due to the early introduction of the Burmese python here in Florida, there have been, since then, a decrease in mammals’ present, and a major change in the way that the food chain works. Pythons are known to eat small mammals, such as mice, raccoons, to birds and bigger animals. The varied appetite that pythons have greatly affect who their predators are. Humans aren’t always on the diet for a python. There have been reports about pythons striking humans, with a bite, but no constricting towards them. The strikes can be a mistake, as the python believe humans can be a potential threat to them, as said by researchers. Though this is the case of many attacks, there are some cases where people have been eaten whole (Reed, 2014). Pythons are capable of eating cattle or farm animals in Florida, from where we feed off. Although they tend to live in more swampy areas, and places where the body of water isn’t that deep, they are known to wander into cities or farmland (Walters, 2016). Due to the lack of predators they have, their habits create a negative impact towards other animals that prey on the same animals. If the prey decrease, other species suffer hunger and die out (Wilson,2017). Since beef and poultry are major food sources, a decrease or a death of animals always impacts the food industry, even if it’s just a few, the farmers or companies that are taking care of them suffer a loss of money. The same decrease can be shown from the population of deer, racoons and opossums, which have dipped over the years (Raloff, 2012).
The Burmese python does have an impact, where it decreases the natural animals that live in Florida, and eats the prey that they eat. This reduces the overall population of deer, opossums, racoons and alligators, as well as panthers, it affects the ecosystem. Their diet allows them to eat other predators, such as alligators, an animal with almost no predators, as well as eagles or other major bird predators. Their ability to climb trees, swim underwater, and camouflage make it a great predator. The ecosystem is slowly changing, and some of the animals have a high probability of going extinct if the Burmese continues to spread out. This epidemic can be prevented if they start being hunted down, or a new predator is introduced, capable of eating them, without affecting other animals as much.