How Burmese Pythons Took Over The Florida Everglades

A Burmese python is held during a safe capture demonstration where Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced at a media event that registration for the 2022 Florida Python Challenge has opened for the annual 10-day event to be held Aug 5-14, Thursday, June 16, 2022, in Miami. The Python Challenge is intended to engage the public in participating in Everglades conservation through invasive species removal of the Burmese python. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
  • Starting in the 1980s, the swamps of the South Florida Everglades have been overrun by one of the most damaging invasive species the region has ever seen: the Burmese python.
  • These massive snakes, which can grow to 20 feet long or more, with telephone-pole-sized girths, have all but decimated the region’s small- and medium-sized mammal population, wreaking havoc with the area’s ecosystem.
  • That ecosystem, the Florida Everglades, commands some 1.5 million acres—or about one-and-a-half times the size of Rhode Island and is now home for (at least) tens of thousands of huge snakes.