A study published in December 2011 established that the number of mid-size mammals observable at evening and night along major roads in Everglades National Park had significantly decreased. The authors measured more than a 99% decrease in the number of raccoons, nearly 99% and 88% decrease for opossums, bobcats (Lynx rufus), and white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), and the authors were unable to observe any rabbits during their period of study. Other mammals, such as rodents, coyotes (Canis latrans), and Florida panthers were observed at a slight increase but still remained infrequent. The study's authors pointed to the Burmese python as responsible for the decreased numbers of mammals: the decreases began occurring about the same time Burmese pythons sightings increased, locations where pythons have been observed for the longest periods of time also shows severe decreases in numbers of mid-size mammals, and in other areas where pythons have been observed more recently, some mammal species numbers are lower than where no pythons have been observed. Raccoons, opossums, rabbits, deer, and bobcats live or feed near water where pythons tend to live, they have been found in digestive tracts of pythons, and as there are no snakes native to the Everglades near the size that Burmese pythons can grow, the study authors stated the mammals "may be naive to predation by large snakes". Everglades National Park is an ecological sanctuary where hunting is illegal; water levels that are often human-controlled, or other environmental factors, have remained unchanged over the past two decades.
« Older He is not the only one. Computer rankings are prol... | Elves are infesting our shelve... Newer »
This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments
Buy a Shirt