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Burms thriving in the wild IN FLORIDA

Discussion in 'Pythons *General*' started by rugbyman2000, Feb 17, 2005.

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  1. rugbyman2000

    rugbyman2000 Elite Member

    I've recently read about captive-released burms being set loose in Florida and establishing thriving native populations. Supposedly the climate in parts of the FL everglades is perfect for Burms to live, feed and breed.

    Is there anyone from FL who can verify or refute this?

    Also, I heard FL officials are counting on alligators to eat some of the burms before they take over completely. I thought that would present somewhat of a mismatch. Would gators really chow down on huge burms?
     
  2. Bitis Gabonica

    Bitis Gabonica Elite Member

    I can't confirm any of this, but sadly some people are irresponsible enough to let captive animals out in the wild. This is both dangerous for the animal, as it is likely that they will die from the wrong conditions, lack of food, preditors, not being used to the wild, disease, etc, and dangerous for the wildlife - a captive animal should never be released into the wild as they can introduce diseases, etc. It is also obviously dangerous to release an animal into the wild where it does not belong - there is a small chance that they could survive and breed, and eventually settle, maybe even enough to pose as a threat to the wildlife that does belong in that area - look at the cane toad in Australia.

    We heard a rumour once that someone in the UK had let a clutch of hatchling corn snakes out into the wild, because they 'couldn't be bothered caring for them'. Sadly, they probably all died tragic and unnecessary deaths, however it would be possible for them to settle here, and thrive, and in doing so become a threat for our natural wildlife,. again, look at the grey squirrels effect on the red squirrel.

    Florida is the perfect environment for a burm, and the stories you've heard may be true, however I'm not so sure a croc would eat a burm - for starters a croc wouldn't naturally come across the burm?? so probably wouldn't see it as a source of food, but if someone else has another viewpoint I would be interested to learn about it.??

    :)
     
  3. rugbyman2000

    rugbyman2000 Elite Member

    Since posting I've read some interesting discussions about the FL Burms topic on kingsnake. There's also a very nifty pic of a burm being eaten by none other than a member of the crocodilian family. The discussion and pic is at:

    http://forums.kingsnake.com/view.php?id=712106,712242

    The discussion says that apparently the gators are at least going to make a dent in the smaller burms, even if the 20 footers remain elusive.

    Our rescue is always encouraging folks NOT TO engage in captive releases, but some people are so lazy they won't even drive 45 minutes to drop of a reptile. We've had people from the neighboring county (we do free pickups in our own county) say that it was too far to drive but they really wanted to unload this boa. But that's a whole other thread in itself.
     
  4. furryscaly

    furryscaly Elite Member

    Yep, burms have actually been living in FL for years. Many of them are escapees from imports, but some people down there know that burms live there and think its ok to release their unwanted pets. Alligators, like the one in your pic eat a few, but not enough to keep them down. Every now and then you'll read about a really big one that winds up in someone's backyard. There was even a burm found in a FL backyard pond on some animal planet show last week.
     
  5. rugbyman2000

    rugbyman2000 Elite Member

    Note to self: Must get Animal Planet!
     
  6. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    I don't think they are expecting the gators to eliminate them, just keep them somewhat under control. And there are other things that are going to feed on the small ones as well.
    At the rate things are going South Florida is going to end up looking more like South America!
    The lazy factor is a part of why some are getting rid of the animals in the first place!
    They just don't want to be bothered. :mad:
     
  7. furryscaly

    furryscaly Elite Member

    Florida is also home to other introduced species like caimans, basilisks, green iguanas, macaws, various parakeets, various non-native anole species, and probably more.
     
  8. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    There are even a couple of islands that are home to troops of Indian Rhesus monkeys that were left behind from the filming of the old B&W Tarzan movies.
     
  9. Ssativa

    Ssativa Subscribed User Premium Member

    South Floridian here to verify

    The reptiles and amphibians I see the most frequently where I live (A suburbin area with constant traffic and kids and 7 ft green iguanas sharing the same space:

    #1- Cuban Anoles;
    I frequently notice these incredible creatures hanging in the trees around campus at my college. While eating breakfast one morning in the horticulture area, my son and I were lucky enough to actually witness in person, a gorgous female Cuban Anole, laying and buring her eggs It was an awsome experience. She watched us and we watched her and we didn't mind each others presence and she seemed to know that we would not harm them.

    #2-Red Eared Sliders.
    I've rescued two this week alone. Both were trying to cross a busy street, heading towards a dangerous place for turtles. Both were immediatly returned to nearby canals where they obviously came from judging by the algea growth not commonly seen on captive specimins. They were pretty much full grown. They are wild animals eventhough they are non-native.

    #2.5-Green Iguanas.
    They sleep in the trees lining the canals. The larger iguanas get to sleep the highest up the tree and they smaller ones get the lowest branches. If you want, you can pluck the babies right off the tree at night when they are sleeping. Sadley, I think that many dealers for the local pet shops use this method. Green Iguana's are good, real fast swimmers. This is why I think they stick around near the canals. They bask on the cement, warm from the sun, from about 12:00p.m. to 4:00 p.m., depending on how cloudy or sunny it is that day. At the slightest sign of danger they bolt into the water and emerge from another canal down the street. They are clever beasts.

    #3- Basklisk lizards.
    These guys are found in bushy areas not far from my house. It's easiest to find these guys at night while they sleep in the bushes. They have a reflective strip which makes spotting them with flashlights very easy. For some reason's these lizards don't tend to freak out when you pick them up like green iguana's do.

    #4 Nile Monitor;
    I'm not sure if this is the same escaped animal that I just happen to see at least 3 times a week on my way to work, or if there are several out there. I don't have much experience with monitors but I know that they aren't cuddley. Unfortunatly, I have never had my cam on me when I see it. It is about 4.5 ft long and it is a monitor monster.

    #5- Northern Curly Tailed Lizard.
    These adorable lizards I first discovered when I was a little girl and railroad ties were placed around the walkway to my house. I soon noticed these awsome giant lizards, we called them the Jerrasic Park Lizards, Poking their heads out of the cracks in the wood. The colony grew and grew. I began to experiment by trying to feed them a variety of food. They eventually began to enjoy eating cooked white meat chicken right out of my hand. They were my wild pets in a way. Well, I moved but my childhood friend lived next door to that house for several years after I moved out. The colony had spread all the way down the street. I was told that they they hunted and ate the smaller fence lizards which used to dominate the area. I'm aware of how introductions like these most often have negative consequences in the long run, but curly tailed lizards co have great personalities and I like them alot.

    #5- Cuban Tree frogs.
    I actually once found and captured a frog that never was unidentified. I decieded that it must have been a cross breed between a cuban tree frog and a barking tree frog. I ended up putting him back out by my pond where he lived for several years. I haven't seen him lately though. I also see a lot of rat and corn snakes which I believe are native. I can honestly say that Most of my encounters with reptiles and amphibians have been with species that althought were not born here, seem to be highly adaptable to suburban life and thrive in our hot humid summers and mildly cool winters. I've never personally seen an burmese in the wild, but I seldom go out into the everglades, which is where I've heard all of the stories of the 'giant burmese' sightings. I've read that the fact that Burmese pythons are thriving in our everglades with very few preditors and a ferocious appatite, is threating one of our most beautiful native Floridian snake, the blue indigo snake. I've never seen a blue indigo snakef ace to face. I just hope that they don't disappear before me and my child get to see one.

    I'm sure I can think of many more nonindiginous species to add to my list once I recharge my brain if anyone is interested. Night night for me.
     
  10. Ssativa

    Ssativa Subscribed User Premium Member

    South Floridian here to verify

    The reptiles and amphibians I see the most frequently where I live (A suburban area with constant traffic and kids and 7 ft green iguanas sharing the same space:

    #1- Cuban Anoles;
    I frequently notice these incredible creatures hanging in the trees around campus at my college. While eating breakfast one morning in the horticulture area, my son and I were lucky enough to actually witness in person, a gorgeos female Cuban Anole, laying and burrying her eggs It was an awsome experience. She watched us and we watched her and we didn't mind each others presence and she seemed to know that we would not harm them.

    #2-Red Eared Sliders.
    I've rescued two this week alone. Both were trying to cross a busy street, heading towards a dangerous place for turtles. Both were immediately returned to nearby canals where they obviously came from judging by the algie growth not commonly seen on captive specimens. They were pretty much full grown. They are wild animals even though they are non-native.

    #2.5-Green Iguanas.
    They sleep in the trees lining the canals. The larger iguanas get to sleep the highest up the tree and they smaller ones get the lowest branches. If you want, you can pluck the babies right off the tree at night when they are sleeping. Sadly, I think that many dealers for the local pet shops use this method. Green Iguana's are good, real fast swimmers. This is why I think they stick around near the canals. They bask on the cement, warm from the sun, from about 12:00p.m. to 4:00 p.m., depending on how cloudy or sunny it is that day. At the slightest sign of danger they bolt into the water and emerge from another canal down the street. They are clever beasts.

    #3- Baskalisk lizards.
    These guys are found in bushy areas not far from my house. It's easiest to find these guys at night while they sleep in the bushes. They have a reflective strip which makes spotting them with flashlights very easy. For some reason's these lizards don't tend to freak out when you pick them up like green iguana's do.

    #4 Nile Monitor;
    I'm not sure if this is the same escaped animal that I just happen to see at least 3 times a week on my way to work, or if there are several out there. I don't have much experience with monitors but I know that they aren't cuddle. Unfortunately, I have never have had my digital on me when I see it. It is about 4.5 ft long and already king of the canal.

    #5- Northern Curly Tailed Lizard.
    These adorable lizards I first discovered when I was a little girl and railroad ties were placed around the walkway to my house. I soon noticed these awsome giant lizards, we called them the Jurassic Park Lizards, Poking their heads out of the cracks in the wood. The colony grew and grew. I began to experiment by trying to feed them a variety of food. They eventually began to enjoy eating cooked white meat chicken right out of my hand. They were my wild pets in a way. Well, I moved but my childhood friend lived next door to that house for several years after I moved out. The colony had spread all the way down the street. I was told that they they hunted and ate the smaller fence lizards which used to dominate the area. lots aware of how introductions like these most often have negative consequences in the long run, but curly tailed lizards co have great personalities and I like them alot.

    #5- Cuban Tree frogs.
    I actually once found and captured a frog that never was unidentified. I decided that it must have been a cross breed between a cuban tree frog and a barking tree frog. I ended up putting him back out by my pond where he lived for several years. I haven't seen him lately though. I also see a lot of rat and corn snakes which I believe are native. I can honestly say that Most of my encounters with reptiles and amphibians have been with species that although were not born here, seem to be highly adaptable to suburban life and thrive in our hot humid summers and mildly cool winters. I've never personally seen an burmese in the wild, but I seldom go out into the everglades, which is where I've heard all of the stories of the 'giant burmese' sightings. I've read that the fact that Burmese pythons are thriving in our everglades with very few predators and a ferocious appetite, is threating one of our most beautiful native Floridian snake, the blue indigo snake. I've never seen a blue indigo snake f ace to face. I just hope that they don't disappear before me and my child get to see one.

    I'm sure I can think of many more non-indiginous species to add to my list once I recharge my brain if anyone is interested. Night night for me.
     
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