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Old March 14th, 2010 #101
Alex Linder
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Ban sought on importing giant invasive snakes



The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wants to keep giant invasive snakes from being imported into the United States and also make it illegal to transport them across state lines.

As part of that process, it's asking for public comment on its plan.

The Service originally published a proposed rule in the Federal Register to designate the Burmese python and eight other large constrictor snakes "injurious wildlife" under the Lacey Act in 2008. The public comment period begins Friday, March 12 and will continue for 60 says, says Fish and Wildlife spokesman Ken Warren. You can go here to comment. A risk assessment is available here.

Burmese pythons (also known as Indian pythons) are already established across thousands of square miles in south Florida. There's also a population of boa constrictors established south of Miami, Warren says. There's even good evidence of a population of northern African pythons reproducing on the western edges of Miami.

Other snakes that would be covered under the proposed rule are the reticulated python, southern African python, yellow anaconda, DeSchauensee's anaconda, green anaconda, and Beni anaconda.

None are native to the United States.

An assessment by the U.S. Geological Survey found all the species posed a high or medium risk to the health of our ecosystems.

Burmese pythons and other large constrictor snakes are very adaptable to new environments and prey on a wide variety and size of animals. That's especially worrisome to already endangered species. For example, two Burmese pythons found near Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge in Florida had remains of three endangered Key Largo woodrats in their stomachs.

Since 2000, more than 1,300 Burmese pythons have been removed from Everglades National Park and vicinity.

By Elizabeth Weise

http://content.usatoday.com/communit...sive-snakes-/1

Last edited by Alex Linder; March 14th, 2010 at 01:56 AM.