University of Florida researchers to use ‘python radios’ to help track this invasive species | Florida News | Orlando

Photo via Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

University of Florida wildlife scientists embark on a new program that just might change the game in python removal.

A new project led by UF researchers will use built-in tracking devices, or “python radios,” to allow for in-depth research to aid in python removal across Florida and the Everglades.

With the help of United States Geological Survey, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and others, the large-scale project aims to allow for targeted removals and assessments of the impacts pythons have on native ecosystems.

With the radios, scientists have been able to document the animals’ reproduction and survival behaviors. The collection of this data can help estimate the state’s python population and increase the success of removal.

“Our study links python ecology with removal efforts,” said Melissa Miller, project lead and research assistant scientist specializing in invasion biology at UF/IFAS, in a news release.

Doing so allows for long-term, in-depth research that is critical to understanding the cryptic, long-lived species.

While Burmese pythons have historically been centered in the Everglades, the population has increasingly been found in more northern and western parts of Florida, according to the FWC.

Although they don’t pose a huge threat to humans, pythons can prey upon pets such as cats and dogs. The FWC advises residents to report Burmese pythons to your nearest exotic species hotline.

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