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The study revealed drastic declines in the number of mid-sized mammals seen on the roads in Everglades National Park – for several species, the decline exceeded 95 percent. The species most dramatically affected are raccoons, opossums, marsh rabbits, foxes and bobcats.
The most severe declines, including a nearly complete disappearance of raccoons, rabbits and opossums, have occurred in the remote southernmost regions of the park, where pythons have been established the longest. In this area, populations of raccoons dropped 99.3 percent, opossums 98.9 percent and bobcats 87.5 percent. Marsh and cottontail rabbits, as well as foxes, were not seen at all.
These declines coincide with the proliferation of invasive Burmese pythons in this area, and the authors identify predation by pythons as the most likely cause of the mammal declines.