Invasive Pythons in the United States: Ecology of an Introduced Predator

University of Georgia Press, 2011 - 156 sivua

Most people think of pythons as giant snakes in distant tropical jungles, but Burmese pythons, which can reach lengths of over twenty feet and weigh over two hundred pounds, are now thriving in southern Florida.

These natives of Asia are commonly kept as pets and presumably escaped or were released in the Everglades. Pythons are now common in this region; widespread throughout hundreds of square miles, they are breeding and appear to be expanding their range. Pythons are voracious predators that feed on a variety of native wildlife including wading birds, bobcats, white-tailed deer, and even alligators. Their presence has drawn dramatic media attention and stoked fears among the public that pythons may threaten not just native species but humans as well.

Despite this widespread concern, information on pythons has been limited to a few scientific publications and news coverage that varies widely in fact and accuracy. With Invasive Pythons in the United States, Michael E. Dorcas and John D. Willson provide the most reliable, up-to-date, and scientifically grounded information on invasive pythons. Filled with over two hundred color photographs and fifteen figures and maps, the book will help general readers and the scientific community better understand these fascinating animals and their troubling presence in the United States.

Features information on

  • general python biology
  • biology of Burmese pythons in their native range
  • research on pythons in the United States
  • history and status of introduced pythons in Florida
  • risks pythons pose in Florida and elsewhere
  • methods to control python populations
  • other boas and pythons that may become or are already established in the United States

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Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Further Reading
Photo Credits

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Michael E. Dorcas is a professor of biology at Davidson College. He is the author of six previous books including, with coauthor Whit Gibbons, Snakes of the Southeast and Frogs and Toads of the Southeast (both Georgia). John D. Willson is a postdoctoral research associate at Virginia Polytechnic and State University. He has published exten­sively on snake ecology and serves as a section editor for Snake Natural History notes in the journal Herpetological Review.

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