Burmese Python Human Risk Assessment
Are large constrictor snakes such as Burmese pythons able to kill people? What is the risk? Would this be in the wild too, or in backyards?
Human fatalities from non-venomous snakes are very rare, probably averaging one or two per year worldwide.
Invasive animal species are a rapidly increasing environmental and economic problem in the United States. According to U.S.
Most invasive reptiles and amphibians have not received research attention at a level that would allow in-depth evaluation of impacts.
There are currently no reliable estimates of the total numbers of Burmese pythons in the invasive population. However, since 2003 more than 2,000 pythons were removed from Everglades National Park and adjacent lands.
If these snakes are active night and day, and if they can live in relatively urban areas, do you expect they will live in cities, such as in South Florida?
Boa constrictors and northern African pythons live in or adjacent to the Miami metropolitan area, and in their native ranges various python species and the boa constrictor are often found living in suburban and urban areas.
Is it possible to eradicate Burmese pythons or similar snakes once they have been introduced to the wild?
The odds of eradicating an introduced population of reptiles once it has spread across a large area are very low, pointing to the importance of prevention, early detection and rapid response.
This study looked at unprovoked strikes in the wild; are provoked bites in the wild tracked as well? Do we know how many of those there have been in Florida?
It is not uncommon for people to be bitten while attempting to capture free-ranging pythons in Florida, but there are no reports of any serious injuries from this type of defensive bite.
Both the USGS and the journal, Wildlife Society Bulletin, require independent scientific review for every publication. In the USGS, peer reviewers are selected from experts with no close professional ties to the authors.
What are important next steps to help prevent the snakes from spreading to other areas, and what should I do if I see a python in the wild?
Development of early detection techniques for non-native reptiles is important because prevention is substantially less costly and more effective than control or eradication.
The smallest snake was 7 feet (212 cm) in total length; the largest was estimated at over 16 feet (500 cm) in total length.
- 1 of 2
- next ›