Rabbits, bobcats, deer, and raccoons are on steep decline in the Florida Everglades, where an explosion in Burmese pythons has been decimating native mammal populations, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (via Darryl Fears of The Washington Post).
The number of invasive pythons in southern Florida has grown dramatically since the 1990s, thanks to pet owners who release their snakes into the wild.
According to the report, raccoon and possum sightings have dropped by almost 99 per cent, while white-tailed deer and bobcat sightings have dropped by 94 per cent and 88 per cent, respectively.
The Burmese python, which is native to Southeast Asia, can lay up to 100 eggs and grow to be more than 20-feet long.
In order to keep more pythons from entering the wild, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently outlawed the importation and interstate trade of Burmese pythons, although you can still buy or sell the snakes within state lines.
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