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Interview: On the Trail of
South Florida’s Python Invaders

Just three decades after the invasive Burmese python became established in southern Florida, scientists
Michael Dorcas
Davidson College
Michael Dorcas
believe there may now be tens of thousands of these giant snakes living across an 8,000-square-kilometer area. And python expert Michael Dorcas says they have decimated once-common native species across the region, including deer, bobcats, and raccoons. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, Dorcas explains how these pythons became such a problem in South Florida, why their range could expand significantly, and why it’s going to be difficult, if not impossible, to get rid of them. “You can go out and you can find pythons, but you can’t go out and find all the pythons — in any area,” says Dorcas. “They’re very secretive animals. And when you have a landscape that is very vast and inaccessible, it makes it very difficult to find these snakes.”
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