What should I do if I see a python in the wild?

If you see a python in the wild – or suspect that a snake is a python or an invasive snake – you should take the same precautions for these constrictor snakes as one would take for alligators: avoid interacting with or getting close to them. If you are in Everglades National Park, you can report a python sighting to a park ranger. You can also report the animal via the “Ive Got 1” reporting hotline (888-483-4681), the EDDMapS reporting site, or by using an iPhone application, IveGot1 - Identify and Report Invasive Animals and Plants in Florida. These reporting sites share reports so you only need to report the animal at one of them.

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Can Burmese Pythons swim from the Everglades to the Florida Keys?

A number of Burmese pythons have been found on Key Largo, and a few in the Lower Keys. However, there is as yet no evidence of a breeding population anywhere in the Keys. Because pythons regularly escape or are released from captivity, it can be difficult to determine whether a snake encountered in the Keys arrived there by swimming from the...

Are there invasive reptiles other than Burmese pythons in the United States that people should be concerned about?

Free-ranging snakes representing dozens of species from around the world are discovered in the United States in any given year, usually as a result of escapees or illegal releases, but most of these have not established reproductive populations. Florida is a major transportation hub and has a climate that’s suitable for many invasive species. As a...

Where are Burmese pythons or other large constrictors distributed in Florida?

The Burmese python is now distributed across more than a thousand square miles of southern Florida, including all of Everglades National Park and areas to the north including Big Cypress National Preserve and Collier-Seminole State Forest. A number of Burmese pythons have been found in the Florida Keys, but there is not yet confirmation of a...

How many Burmese pythons inhabit southern Florida?

Tens of thousands of invasive Burmese pythons are estimated to be present in the Everglades.

How have invasive pythons impacted Florida ecosystems?

Non-native Burmese pythons have established a breeding population in South Florida and are one of the most concerning invasive species in Everglades National Park. Pythons compete with native wildlife for food, which includes mammals, birds, and other reptiles. Severe mammal declines in Everglades National Park have been linked to Burmese pythons...

Are large constrictor snakes such as Burmese pythons able to kill people? What is the risk?  Would this be in the wild, or in backyards?

Human fatalities from non-venomous snakes are very rare, probably averaging one or two per year worldwide. All known constrictor-snake fatalities in the United States are from captive snakes; these are split between deaths of snake owners who were purposefully interacting with their pet and deaths of small children or infants in homes where a...

Can invasive pythons be eradicated?

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. And with the Burmese python now distributed across more than a thousand square miles of southern Florida, including all of Everglades National Park and areas...

Could invasive pythons move into cities?

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. As with alligators, the risk of human attack in urban areas is very low but not absent.

Are invasive snakes dangerous?

Free-ranging snakes representing dozens of species from around the world are discovered in the United States in any given year, usually as a result of escapees or releases from the pet trade, but most of these don't appear to have established a reproductive population. Any animal can be problematic when released in places where it is not native...
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Date published: August 21, 2018

Genetic Analysis of Florida's Invasive Pythons Reveals A Tangled Family Tree

A new genetic analysis of invasive pythons captured across South Florida finds the big constrictors are closely related to one another. In fact, most of them are genetically related as first or second cousins, according to a study by wildlife genetics experts at the U.S. Geological Survey.

Date published: November 1, 2016

Grappling with Pythons in Florida

In 2003, wildlife scientists carrying out regular nighttime road surveys in Everglades National Park started to see fewer medium-sized mammals. Over the next few years, rabbits disappeared completely, and populations of foxes, raccoons, possums, bobcats, and white-tailed deer were either small or absent.

Date published: September 22, 2016

Burmese Python Hatchlings Seen on Key Largo

Burmese pythons have been found on Key Largo.

Date published: April 28, 2015

Burmese Python Habitat Use Patterns May Help Control Efforts

EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK, Fla.— The largest and longest Burmese Python tracking study of its kind -- here or in its native range -- is providing researchers and resource managers new information that may help target control efforts of this invasive snake, according to a new study led by the U.S. Geological Survey.

Date published: March 19, 2014

Invasive Burmese Pythons Are Good Navigators and Can Find Their Way Home

Invasive Burmese pythons in South Florida are able to find their way home even when moved far away from their capture locations, a finding that has implications for the spread of the species.

Attribution: Ecosystems, Southeast
Date published: February 27, 2014

Burmese Pythons Pose Little Risk to People in Everglades

The estimated tens of thousands of Burmese pythons now populating the Everglades present a low risk to people in the park, according to a new assessment byU.S. Geological Survey and National Park Service scientists.

Attribution: Ecosystems, Southeast
Date published: November 29, 2012

Invasive Boa Constrictor Thriving on Puerto Rico

MAYAGÜEZ, Puerto Rico— Non-native boa constrictors, which can exceed 10 feet and 75 pounds, have established a breeding population in Puerto Rico, one that appears to be spreading, according to research published in the journal Biological Invasions.
 

Date published: January 30, 2012

Severe Declines in Everglades Mammals Linked to Pythons

HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- Precipitous declines in formerly common mammals in Everglades National Park have been linked to the presence of invasive Burmese pythons, according to a study published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 

Date published: January 4, 2012

Salt Water Alone Unlikely to Halt Burmese Python Invasion

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Invasive Burmese python hatchlings from the Florida Everglades can withstand exposure to salt water long enough to potentially expand their range through ocean and estuarine environments, according to research in the latest issue of the Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology.

Date published: October 13, 2009

Report Documents the Risks of Giant Invasive Snakes in the U.S.

Five giant non-native snake species would pose high risks to the health of ecosystems in the United States should they become established here, according to a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) report released today.
The USGS report details the risks of nine non-native boa, anaconda and python species that are invasive or potentially invasive in the United States.

Filter Total Items: 21
American Alligator and Burmese Python in a Struggle
February 1, 2017

American Alligator and Burmese Python in a Struggle

An American alligator and a Burmese python locked in a struggle to prevail in Everglades National Park. This python appears to be losing, but snakes in similar situations have apparently escaped unharmed, and in other situations pythons have eaten alligators. Photograph credit: Lori Oberhofer, National Park Service

Implanting a Radio Transmitter in a Burmese Python
February 1, 2017

Implanting a Radio Transmitter in a Burmese Python

Researchers implant a radio transmitter in a 16-foot, 155-pound female Burmese python at the South Florida Research Center, Everglades National Park. Photograph credit: Lori Oberhofer, National Park Service

A Burmese python coiled in the grass in the Everglades.
October 27, 2016

A Burmese python coiled in the grass in the Everglades.

A Burmese python coiled in the grass in the Everglades.

A Burmese python stretched out in the grass in the Everglades.
October 27, 2016

A Burmese python stretched out in the grass in the Everglades.

A Burmese python stretched out in the grass in the Everglades.

An Everglades Park ranger holds a Burmese Python by the tail.
October 4, 2016

An Everglades Park ranger holds a Burmese Python by the tail.

An Everglades Park ranger holds a Burmese Python by the tail. 

Image shows a coiled python on a wooden table
September 22, 2016

Python on a table

An 18 inch python found in north Key Largo, August 23, 2016 photo by Jeremy Dixon, USFWS.

Burmese python swimming
April 6, 2016

Burmese python swimming

Burmese python swimming

Image: Tracking Device in Burmese Python
March 14, 2016

Tracking Device in Burmese Python

Team of scientists working together to insert a tracking device in a 14 foot Burmese python.

video thumbnail: Under Siege: Battling Flying Carp and Giant Pythons and How Science Can Help
July 3, 2012

Under Siege: Battling Flying Carp and Giant Pythons and How Science Can Help

Over the last several decades, non-native species have continued to invade sensitive ecosystems in the United States. Two high-profile species, Asian carp in the Midwest and Burmese pythons in the Everglades, are the focus of much attention by decision makers, the public and the media. Sharon Gross, Robert Reed and Cynthia Kolar discuss issues related to invasive species

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Image: Biologists Remove Python from Everglades
May 1, 2012

Biologists Remove Python from Everglades

This 16 1/2-foot python, being removed from the wild by USGS and NPS personnel, was captured in a thicket in Everglades National Park in May 2012. The python was equipped with a radio-transmitter and an accelerometer as part of one of the Burmese python projects led by USGS to learn more about the biology of the species to help in efforts to develop better control methods

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video thumbnail: Record-Breaking Burmese Python (17 feet, 7 inches, 87 eggs) Captured by The USGS, B-roll
March 31, 2012

Record-Breaking Burmese Python (17 feet, 7 inches, 87 eggs) Captured by The USGS, B-roll

Big Ol‘ Gal

This female Burmese python broke the records for her length — 17 feet, 7 inches — and the number of eggs she contained: 87. She was first captured in Everglades National Park by USGS researchers in the spring of 2012, when they followed a "Judas snake" – a male python with a transmitter – and found her nearby in the bushes. USGS scientists then

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