Marco Island Everglades SW Florida Snakes
FL Everglades Wildlife Photos Python Snakes
Snakes of all kinds have long been living in the Everglades. Now, imported, non-native species like pythons are thriving in the Florida Everglades. A python recently crawled onto the tarmac to sun itself on a cold, windy day at the Marco Executive Airport, which is just north of the island on Hammock Bay in Naples. If homeowners find a python in their yard, they should immediately call the FWC’s nuisance animal hotline at 888-404-FWCC. Thank you for bookmarking, to feature your business, contact us.
Southwest Florida Snakes: Exploring the Diverse Serpent Life of the Everglades
Southwest Florida is a region renowned for its rich biodiversity and unique ecosystems, particularly the Everglades. Within this vast subtropical wilderness lies an array of snake species, each playing a crucial role in the delicate balance of this extraordinary habitat. From the awe-inspiring Burmese pythons to the venomous snakes that command respect, Southwest Florida is a haven for snake enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. In this informative page, we will delve into the captivating world of Southwest Florida snakes, focusing on the snakes found in the Everglades, the infamous Burmese pythons, poisonous snakes, and the Annual Python Hunt.
Snakes of the Everglades: The Everglades, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a unique wetland ecosystem that covers much of the southern tip of Florida. This vast and intricate landscape is home to a diverse array of snake species. Some of the most commonly encountered snakes in the Everglades include:
- Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake (Crotalus adamanteus): The largest venomous snake in North America, known for its distinctive diamond-shaped patterns and formidable rattling tail.
- Eastern Coral Snake (Micrurus fulvius): A venomous snake with striking red, yellow, and black bands, often remembered with the rhyme “Red on yellow, kill a fellow; red on black, venom lack.”
- Water Moccasin (Cottonmouth) (Agkistrodon piscivorus): A venomous semi-aquatic snake recognizable by its cotton-white mouth and aggressive behavior when threatened.
- Florida Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon conanti): A close relative of the Water Moccasin, with a more limited distribution, primarily found in southwestern Florida.
- Florida Green Watersnake (Nerodia floridana): A non-venomous water snake frequently seen in the Everglades’ freshwater marshes and canals.
- Florida Brown Snake (Storeria victa): A small, harmless snake commonly found in wooded areas and gardens throughout Southwest Florida.
Burmese Pythons (Python bivittatus): One of the most infamous and controversial reptiles in Southwest Florida is the Burmese python, an invasive species originally from Southeast Asia. These massive constrictor snakes were introduced to the region through the pet trade and have since established a significant population in the Everglades. Known for their impressive size, with some reaching over 20 feet in length, Burmese pythons pose a significant threat to native wildlife.
The absence of natural predators and an abundance of prey has allowed Burmese pythons to thrive in the Everglades, leading to a decline in several native species, including small mammals and wading birds. Efforts to control their population have been challenging, with authorities resorting to various methods, including the Annual Python Hunt.
Poisonous Snakes in Southwest Florida: Southwest Florida is home to several venomous snake species, which play an essential role in the ecosystem by controlling prey populations and contributing to the natural balance. It is vital for residents and visitors alike to be familiar with these venomous species and exercise caution when encountering them. Some of the venomous snakes found in the region include:
- Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake
- Eastern Coral Snake
- Water Moccasin (Cottonmouth)
- Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix)
- Timber Rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus)
- Dusky Pygmy Rattlesnake (Sistrurus miliarius barbouri)
Annual Python Hunt: To combat the exponential growth of Burmese python populations and their adverse impact on the Everglades ecosystem, the state of Florida initiated the Annual Python Hunt. This event, organized by wildlife management authorities, invites hunters and enthusiasts to participate in removing as many Burmese pythons as possible from the wild. The hunt aims to raise public awareness about the invasive species problem and encourage proactive conservation efforts.
Participants in the Annual Python Hunt undergo training to safely and humanely capture these snakes, helping to protect the native wildlife and the sensitive Everglades ecosystem. Prizes and incentives are often offered for the most pythons caught, creating a sense of community engagement in tackling this pressing environmental challenge.
Southwest Florida’s snakes, particularly those found in the Everglades, offer a fascinating glimpse into the region’s unique biodiversity. While the presence of venomous snakes commands caution and respect, the incredible diversity of these reptiles enriches the complex ecological tapestry of this cherished landscape. Through initiatives like the Annual Python Hunt and responsible conservation efforts, residents and wildlife enthusiasts are working together to preserve the delicate balance of the Everglades and protect its valuable wildlife for generations to come.