US bans import of Burmese pythons

Jan 17, 2012
A 2005 photo shows a 12-foot (3.65m) Burmese python that was captured in the backyard of a home in south Miami, Florida. The United States announced it is banning the import of Burmese pythons and three other species of giant constrictor snakes due to the danger they pose to local wildlife.

The United States announced Tuesday it is banning the import of Burmese pythons and three other species of giant constrictor snakes due to the danger they pose to local wildlife.

The formal ban on importing or transporting across state lines the , the yellow anaconda and the northern and southern African pythons will take effect in about two months, said the .

According to the decision, the four big snakes are considered "injurious wildlife" and the ban aims to halt their spread in the wild. People who own them as pets would not likely be affected by the new restrictions.

"Burmese pythons have already caused substantial harm in Florida," said FWS director Dan Ashe, noting that they have preyed on endangered Key Largo wood rats while other pythons have eaten endangered wood storks.

"By taking this action today, we will help prevent further harm from these large constrictor snakes to , especially in habitats that can support constrictor snake populations across the southern United States and in US territories."

US authorities have spent millions of dollars in the due to the threat posed by the big snakes, "an amount far less than is needed to combat their spread," the FWS added.

Five other non-native snakes remain under consideration for listing as "injurious," including the reticulated python, boa constrictor, DeSchauensee’s anaconda, green anaconda and Beni anaconda.

The Burmese are among the largest snakes on Earth and are native to southeast Asia, including Myanmar, also known as Burma.

Explore further: EU, others: Catch plans for Bluefin tuna threaten recovery

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

'Vicious' Giant Python Invading Florida

Sep 21, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- New studies suggest a 20 foot snake, the African rock python, is making its home in Florida and could soon invade the Everglades National Park.

Florida bill would ban pythons as pets

Sep 23, 2009

You wouldn't be able to buy a Burmese python as a pet anymore in Florida, under a bill drafted by a state senator who said the state should shut off the source of "dangerous reptiles" that have colonized the Everglades.

Salt water alone unlikely to halt Burmese python invasion

Jan 04, 2012

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 ...

Recommended for you

Salish Sea seagull populations halved since 1980s

Feb 27, 2015

The number of seagulls in the Strait of Georgia is down by 50 per cent from the 1980s and University of British Columbia researchers say the decline reflects changes in the availability of food.

Banksias differ on resilience to climate change

Feb 27, 2015

Research into the germination requirements of four Banksia species (Proteaceae) endemic to the South West Australian Floristic Region (SWAFR) has found certain species may be more vulnerable to climate change ...

China bans ivory carving imports for one year

Feb 27, 2015

Beijing has imposed a one-year ban on the import of ivory carvings, amid international criticism that rapidly-growing Chinese demand could push wild African elephants to extinction within a generation.

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

meerling
5 / 5 (1) Jan 17, 2012
If there's already a breeding population, you have to wonder if it's too little, too late for an import ban.
LariAnn
1 / 5 (1) Jan 17, 2012
Apparently the ban will not affect these snakes if they are born and bred in the USA, not imported. Also, I wonder how much of the "injurious" effect of these snakes is based on speculation and not actual scientific data. No doubt there are escaped or released snakes in south Florida - the issue is not whether they are there, but what their actual effect on the environment is. IMHO, hyperbole may be good for drumming up funding from alarmed public officials, but is not good science.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.