Presentation on theme: "Boas and Pythons By: Thaddeus Koneski BIO 108 Invasive Organisms Dr. Jerry Skinner."— Presentation transcript:
Boas and Pythons By: Thaddeus Koneski BIO 108 Invasive Organisms Dr. Jerry Skinner
Order: Squamata Family: Boidae Boa constrictor Range in length: 20 inches as neonates – 13 feet as adults. Upwards of 100+ pounds. Have heat-sensitive scales while larger Boidae members have heat- sensitive pits on their head. Either pink or tan with colored cross bands. Life span: 20-30 years
Ten subspecies, some with multiple specific individuals. Non-venomous Good swimmers Females incubate eggs internally and then give birth to live offspring. 20-60 young at a time. Can reach 3 feet within a few months of birth. Sexually mature at 2-3 years after reaching a length of 6-10 feet.
Distribution/Habitat Native territory throughout Northern Mexico down to Argentina. Most varied habitat of all boas including elevation and climate (deserts, rain forests, savannas, fields). Low affinity for water. Terrestrial and arboreal.
Diet Large lizards, moderate-sized birds, opossums, bats, mongooses, rats, and squirrels. Mostly rodents but they prefer bats. Can become troublesome when in non-native habitats in populated areas with pets and children. Photo of dead python after alligator clawed its hind end out… A wide- spread mythical fear of monster sized snakes.
Benefits and Detriments Across tropical America boas are prized for rodent eliminating capabilities. Precisely why theyve been naturalized or domesticated in certain areas. Spread due to escape from confinement. How did they get here? – Pet trade = $$$$$ – Exotic pets = high value Bred and captured to send all over. Including America!
Thankfully their necessary habitable conditions only extend into a small percentage of the continental U.S. (map from Nat. Geo.)
Order: Squamata Family: Pythonidae Python molurus bivittatus May reach 15+ feet. 22+ in captivity. Pale tan, yellow-brown, or grey. Large red blotches circled in cream/gold. Wild lifespan up to 30 years.
Native range includes Southern China, Burma, Indochina, Thailand, and Malay Archipeligo. Populations are dependant on a permanent source of water. Rainforests, grasslands, swamps, marshes, rocky foothills. Prey: mammals, reptiles, birds. Protected in their native range due to immediate killing for marketable goods. Range, Habitat, and Diet
Distribution 2009 USGS distribution map of areas where Burmese pythons thrive in the U.S.A. 2009 USGS map of U.S.A. climate suitable to native climate of Burmese pythons.
Impact We identified 25 species of birds representing nine avian Orders from remains in digestive tracts of 85 Burmese pythons (Python molurus bivittatus) collected in Everglades National Park, Florida, USA, from 2003 to 2008. Four species of birds identified in this study are of special concern in Florida and a fifth, the Wood Stork (Mycteria americana), is listed as federally endangered. This represents the first detailed analysis of the avian component of the diet of the introduced Burmese python, now established in Everglades National Park, Florida and highlights the potential for considerable negative impact of this invasive species on native bird populations. Consumption of numerous native birds including an endangered species. Study accounts for a significant but still small sample of invasive pythons.
Impact "Wildlife managers are concerned that these snakes, which can grow to over 20 feet long and more than 250 pounds, pose a danger to state- and federally listed threatened and endangered species as well as to humans," said Bob Reed, a USGS wildlife biologist at the Fort Collins Science Center in Colorado, who helped develop the maps. "Several endangered species," he noted, "have already been found in the snakes' stomachs. Pythons could have even more significant environmental and economic consequences if they were to spread from Florida to other states. Multiple endangered species are being threatened by the Burmese python. Greater threat to more species considering spread into other states
Controls Manual removal of pest snakes. Prohibition of non-native snake trade. Public awareness of results of pet release