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(Fox News)   A contest where amateurs hunt in a swamp for snakes that grow up to 18 feet long has just kicked off. In Florida. I don't see what could POSSIBLY go wrong   (foxnews.com) divider line 102
    More: Followup, florida, Burmese pythons, Southeast Asian, Burmese, wildlife officials, ecological damage, Everglades, snakes  
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7592 clicks; posted to Main » on 03 Jan 2013 at 8:37 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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Archived thread
 
2013-01-03 08:23:23 PM
i.ytimg.com

is already en route.
 
2013-01-03 08:41:47 PM
www.fritriac.de
 
2013-01-03 08:42:29 PM
Just jump in the water, snakes can't swim!
 
2013-01-03 08:44:04 PM
We need a running scoreboard on this
 
2013-01-03 08:44:45 PM
I know some middle aged sorority gals that hunt snake such as these.
They are cougars.
They are proud members of the hose beast sorority and they will hunt them down and put them in a warm, moist place and smother them and call them George.
 
2013-01-03 08:46:34 PM
The very definition of Win-win.
 
2013-01-03 08:46:54 PM
As long as they mandate that contestants wear helmet cameras and broadcast the best outtakes I see absolutely nothing wrong with this
 
2013-01-03 08:46:56 PM
Waste of time...
 
2013-01-03 08:48:24 PM
Ross Allen if he were alive, could have rounded them up.
 
2013-01-03 08:52:54 PM
Nearly 400 people have registered for the Python Challenge so far and entered a program that may seem inadequate to become a snake wrangler, but wildlife officials say that entrants will have the opportunity to participate in additional training later this week.

Liability Insurers love little advertised tidbits like this.
 
2013-01-03 08:56:28 PM
As Kevin Bacon (Capt. Jack Ross) says in  A Few Good Men....

"It's gonna be entertaining"
 
2013-01-03 08:57:18 PM

fluffy2097: [www.fritriac.de image 303x400]


You don't suppose this is a clever attempt to lose the FLORIDA tag by cleaning up their gene pool do you?
 
2013-01-03 09:02:50 PM
Amateurs can hunt for my 18 foot snake in their swamps if they so choose.
 
2013-01-03 09:04:04 PM
If you ever find yourself at a tattoo shop that has replaced any "s" with a "z" (i.e. tattooz, intenze) you deserve exactly what you get, asshat.
 
2013-01-03 09:05:15 PM

The Angry Hand of God: If you ever find yourself at a tattoo shop that has replaced any "s" with a "z" (i.e. tattooz, intenze) you deserve exactly what you get, asshat.


Or znake

Since you are in the wiring thread
 
2013-01-03 09:05:53 PM

amquelbettamin: The Angry Hand of God: If you ever find yourself at a tattoo shop that has replaced any "s" with a "z" (i.e. tattooz, intenze) you deserve exactly what you get, asshat.

Or znake

Since you are in the wiring thread


Wrong
 
2013-01-03 09:06:39 PM

The Angry Hand of God: If you ever find yourself at a tattoo shop that has replaced any "s" with a "z" (i.e. tattooz, intenze) you deserve exactly what you get, asshat.


While I agree, I do believe that the thread you were looking for slithered down one post.....
 
2013-01-03 09:08:38 PM

Pribar: The Angry Hand of God: If you ever find yourself at a tattoo shop that has replaced any "s" with a "z" (i.e. tattooz, intenze) you deserve exactly what you get, asshat.

While I agree, I do believe that the thread you were looking for slithered down one post.....


If anyone gets an 18 foot snake tattoo, this applies!
 
2013-01-03 09:08:47 PM

amquelbettamin: amquelbettamin: The Angry Hand of God: If you ever find yourself at a tattoo shop that has replaced any "s" with a "z" (i.e. tattooz, intenze) you deserve exactly what you get, asshat.

Or znake

Since you are in the wiring thread

Wrong


snakez?
 
2013-01-03 09:09:00 PM

Zeb Hesselgresser: Nearly 400 people have registered for the Python Challenge so far and entered a program that may seem inadequate to become a snake wrangler, but wildlife officials say that entrants will have the opportunity to participate in additional training later this week.

Liability Insurers love little advertised tidbits like this.


My guess is that most injuries or deaths will be from terrain-related accidents and close encounters with human litter and other animals, not the constrictors.
 
2013-01-03 09:13:02 PM
I live in the Middle Keys, half between Key Largo and Key West. Our water utility company snagged one BEHIND PUBLIX, right behind it, around quarter mile from my house, 100 feet off U.S. 1. So, while I am not a fan of yahoos heading to the Everglades for this, I don't really have a problem, either (it was never determined if the Publix snake was a released pet or wild animal because the crew killed it and disposed of it without notifying wildlife officials, but still...)
 
2013-01-03 09:13:07 PM
I used to do catch and release of rattle snakes in Eastern Washington. They're poisonous, but fairly easy to catch if you know what you are doing.
they don't sit up in trees and drop on you when you walk by
they don't latch onto you to crush your bones

really WAY less scary than a 18 foot long several hundred pound python.
 
2013-01-03 09:16:57 PM
Pfffffft. They shoulda called it "A Weekend in Bonanza Jellybean's Jockstrap."
 
2013-01-03 09:19:02 PM
What time will this be on the History Channel?
 
2013-01-03 09:19:10 PM

UsikFark: Zeb Hesselgresser: Nearly 400 people have registered for the Python Challenge so far and entered a program that may seem inadequate to become a snake wrangler, but wildlife officials say that entrants will have the opportunity to participate in additional training later this week.

Liability Insurers love little advertised tidbits like this.

My guess is that most injuries or deaths will be from terrain-related accidents and close encounters with human litter and other animals, not the constrictors.


no doubt, the possibilities abound; accidental shootings, stabbings, drowning, cardiac events, and the not-too-rare propeller maulings.
 
2013-01-03 09:21:36 PM
Please televise this. But not just that. Please open up a betting pool and let us all get a good look at all the contestants.
 
2013-01-03 09:22:57 PM
Question: What's the actual problem with the snakes being in the Everglades?

I get it, a lot of them were born from snakes released into the wild by former owners. So they were introduced by humanity. Got it. Are they killing people or something? I know, they are probably edging out some other species. Nature tends to get upset by outside factors and takes some time to regain balance, if it was ever balanced at all. All I'm saying is that some species thrive, some go extinct. The planet changes and ecosystems change to keep up. It's always happened and won't stop now.

Is there something else going on here other than a feeling of "we humans liked the Everglades as it was before these snakes were here, and since we put them here, we're going to try to remove them"? Is there an actual problem that's harming people or ruining business or commerce? Or is it just people not liking that the ecosystem changed and they want to change it back.
 
2013-01-03 09:23:59 PM
My guess is that most injuries or deaths will be from terrain-related accidents and close encounters with human litter and other animals, not the constrictors.

Agreed. I don't think people realize just how well camouflaged these things can be, and just how hard they are to find. Their natural instinct when confronted by a threat is basically to freeze- if they do that when coiled up in the middle of a big grass tussock or brush pile, you'll never even know they are there. This is a feel-good measure that won't do anything to "control" python populations.
 
2013-01-03 09:26:02 PM
Question: What's the actual problem with the snakes being in the Everglades?

I get it, a lot of them were born from snakes released into the wild by former owners. So they were introduced by humanity. Got it. Are they killing people or something? I know, they are probably edging out some other species. Nature tends to get upset by outside factors and takes some time to regain balance, if it was ever balanced at all. All I'm saying is that some species thrive, some go extinct. The planet changes and ecosystems change to keep up. It's always happened and won't stop now.

Is there something else going on here other than a feeling of "we humans liked the Everglades as it was before these snakes were here, and since we put them here, we're going to try to remove them"? Is there an actual problem that's harming people or ruining business or commerce? Or is it just people not liking that the ecosystem changed and they want to change it back.


It's largely hysteria plus a little bit of ecological impact. However, south FL is so overridden with exotic plants and animals its arguable that the environment there hasn't been "natural" for decades. As you say, natural selection will result in some sort of equilibrium state at some point. These animals are here to stay, short of nuking/napalming the entire region.
 
2013-01-03 09:27:00 PM
Amateurs? They paid $25 each. That makes them professionals in my eyes.
 
2013-01-03 09:29:43 PM
Recommended methods for dispatching the animals include hacking off their heads with a machete
Umm, no? If your training course doesn't include at least a five minute warning to take something a little bit more Predator-ish than large knife, then you're gonna get a suing.
 
2013-01-03 09:32:10 PM

taurusowner: Question: What's the actual problem with the snakes being in the Everglades?

I get it, a lot of them were born from snakes released into the wild by former owners. So they were introduced by humanity. Got it. Are they killing people or something? I know, they are probably edging out some other species. Nature tends to get upset by outside factors and takes some time to regain balance, if it was ever balanced at all. All I'm saying is that some species thrive, some go extinct. The planet changes and ecosystems change to keep up. It's always happened and won't stop now.

Is there something else going on here other than a feeling of "we humans liked the Everglades as it was before these snakes were here, and since we put them here, we're going to try to remove them"? Is there an actual problem that's harming people or ruining business or commerce? Or is it just people not liking that the ecosystem changed and they want to change it back.


FTA....(And this is referring to Burmese pythons, an invasive species) The voracious predators have devastated the native species like deer, bobcats and raccoons.

Invasive species are also responsible for the disappearance of certain native birds & animals in Hawaii.
 
2013-01-03 09:32:55 PM

Manfred J. Hattan: What time will this be on the History Channel?


Idiot. The history channel is for history. What kind of moron would put such a stupid show on the HISTORY channel?!

/really told him
 
2013-01-03 09:36:19 PM

Bathia_Mapes: taurusowner: Question: What's the actual problem with the snakes being in the Everglades?

I get it, a lot of them were born from snakes released into the wild by former owners. So they were introduced by humanity. Got it. Are they killing people or something? I know, they are probably edging out some other species. Nature tends to get upset by outside factors and takes some time to regain balance, if it was ever balanced at all. All I'm saying is that some species thrive, some go extinct. The planet changes and ecosystems change to keep up. It's always happened and won't stop now.

Is there something else going on here other than a feeling of "we humans liked the Everglades as it was before these snakes were here, and since we put them here, we're going to try to remove them"? Is there an actual problem that's harming people or ruining business or commerce? Or is it just people not liking that the ecosystem changed and they want to change it back.

FTA....(And this is referring to Burmese pythons, an invasive species) The voracious predators have devastated the native species like deer, bobcats and raccoons.

Invasive species are also responsible for the disappearance of certain native birds & animals in Hawaii.



This is really it, in a nutshell. There are a couple native species that this snake is going eat off the face of the earth. The few native species left in the everglades have enough problems as it is, with all kind of invasive reptiles moving in.
 
2013-01-03 09:37:35 PM
I'll start the popcorn
horrornews.net
I grew up in the swamps, where the scariest thing I ever saw was an 18 foot female 'gator. Lost my first puppy (I was six at the time) to a 'gator. Also lost my first pair of real shoes. Snakes? Nothing we could not deal with.
 
2013-01-03 09:39:11 PM

Bathia_Mapes: taurusowner: Question: What's the actual problem with the snakes being in the Everglades?

I get it, a lot of them were born from snakes released into the wild by former owners. So they were introduced by humanity. Got it. Are they killing people or something? I know, they are probably edging out some other species. Nature tends to get upset by outside factors and takes some time to regain balance, if it was ever balanced at all. All I'm saying is that some species thrive, some go extinct. The planet changes and ecosystems change to keep up. It's always happened and won't stop now.

Is there something else going on here other than a feeling of "we humans liked the Everglades as it was before these snakes were here, and since we put them here, we're going to try to remove them"? Is there an actual problem that's harming people or ruining business or commerce? Or is it just people not liking that the ecosystem changed and they want to change it back.

FTA....(And this is referring to Burmese pythons, an invasive species) The voracious predators have devastated the native species like deer, bobcats and raccoons.

Invasive species are also responsible for the disappearance of certain native birds & animals in Hawaii.


Ok, understandable. But I gotta then ask...so what? New species shows up, some old species go away. Nature continues. Is there an actual problem other than "I like Species X but Species Y is killing them, so let's get rid of Species Y"?

Consider Zebra Muscles. Other than the "they're not native so it's our fault" argument, they ARE actually causing problems. Clogging up pipes, damaging boats and other property, edging out other species that are used as game fish or for commercial fishing, etc. Actual problems beyond "I don't like them here". Is there something comparable going on with the snakes?
 
2013-01-03 09:45:04 PM
What could possibly go wrong?

Duplicates.
 
2013-01-03 09:45:58 PM

Bathia_Mapes: taurusowner: Question: What's the actual problem with the snakes being in the Everglades?

I get it, a lot of them were born from snakes released into the wild by former owners. So they were introduced by humanity. Got it. Are they killing people or something? I know, they are probably edging out some other species. Nature tends to get upset by outside factors and takes some time to regain balance, if it was ever balanced at all. All I'm saying is that some species thrive, some go extinct. The planet changes and ecosystems change to keep up. It's always happened and won't stop now.

Is there something else going on here other than a feeling of "we humans liked the Everglades as it was before these snakes were here, and since we put them here, we're going to try to remove them"? Is there an actual problem that's harming people or ruining business or commerce? Or is it just people not liking that the ecosystem changed and they want to change it back.

FTA....(And this is referring to Burmese pythons, an invasive species) The voracious predators have devastated the native species like deer, bobcats and raccoons.

Invasive species are also responsible for the disappearance of certain native birds & animals in Hawaii.


Plus, you can also look at it like this: the current makeup of species in the everglades works. You introduce a new top-level predator and who knows what it'll do. Maybe it outhunts other predators leading to their local extinction, causing a population explosion of some animal that that predator ate but the snake doesn't. Maybe it eats all the deer and drives down tourism revenue. You just don't know what the effect is going to be, so why take the chance that it'll be bad?

Especially when so many other invasive species: African bees, snakeheads, kudzu, boll weevils - have been so bad for the local economy or ecosystems.

Besides, this current solution is to get rednecks to go grab their guns and try to shoot up something. It's not like it's going to require a lot of effort by the local government.
 
2013-01-03 09:47:37 PM
I'm so glad there's at least a few states easier to make fun of than my own California.

Florida never fails to disappoint.
 
2013-01-03 09:49:06 PM

Karac: Besides, this current solution is to get rednecks to go grab their guns and try to shoot up something. It's not like it's going to require a lot of effort by the local government.


Oh don't get me wrong, I don't have a problem with people hunting the snakes. Humans are a local species too, and we play a part in the ecosystem just like anything else. Human eats deer, snake threatens deer, human kills snake. We're part of the game too. We just happen to use tools because our natural teeth and claws suck.
 
2013-01-03 09:50:24 PM

teeny: I'm so glad there's at least a few states easier to make fun of than my own California.

Florida never fails to disappoint.


Yeah, but California is another country altogether
 
2013-01-03 09:50:52 PM
fark snakes. I'm 1,000,000% behind this.
 
2013-01-03 09:53:03 PM

Karac: Bathia_Mapes: taurusowner: Question

Besides, this current solution is to get rednecks to go grab their guns and try to shoot up something. It's not lik ...


What do you mean "try"? You obviously never saw my redneck grandmother hunt down a copperhead with a garden hoe.
 
2013-01-03 09:53:11 PM

Plus, you can also look at it like this: the current makeup of species in the everglades works. You introduce a new top-level predator and who knows what it'll do. Maybe it outhunts other predators leading to their local extinction, causing a population explosion of some animal that that predator ate but the snake doesn't. Maybe it eats all the deer and drives down tourism revenue. You just don't know what the effect is going to be, so why take the chance that it'll be bad?

Especially when so many other invasive species: African bees, snakeheads, kudzu, boll weevils - have been so bad for the local economy or ecosystems.

Besides, this current solution is to get rednecks to go grab their guns and try to shoot up something. It's not like it's going to require a lot of effort by the local government.


The current species makeup of the everglades includes pacus, armored catfish, burmese pythons, exotic rats and mice, european starlings, humans, dogs, cats, japanese beetles, water hyacinth, australian pine, australian paperbark, curly-tailed lizards, at least 5 species of caribbean anoles, at least 4 species of old-world geckoes, cuban treefrogs, brazilian pepper, feral hogs, peacock bass

-this is not an exhaustive list by any means, but it highlights the fact that the Everglades ecosystem is NOT a natural system. The pythons, while likely having an affect on some mammalian predators, are only one of very many invasive species, each of which are depredating or outcompeting native species. Nothing we can do is going to change any of that, and pythons themselves are so cryptic that to think we can control them using these types of measures is exceptionally naive.
 
2013-01-03 09:55:12 PM
Lets see, a fox news article about people in florida trying to get themselves eaten by a snake. I'm saying we go ahead and jump the shark. Lets have a reality TV show about a reality TV show. I'm guessing that whatever idiots involved in filming this would make as good a freak show as the object here.
/DNRTFA
//Fox should not have rights to public spectrum, any more than axis sally
/// florida should be a client state, like puerto rico, at best
 
2013-01-03 09:56:35 PM
ecx.images-amazon.com

sxacho: Manfred J. Hattan: What time will this be on the History Channel?

Idiot. The history channel is for history. What kind of moron would put such a stupid show on the HISTORY channel?!

/really told him


Wrong channel.
 
2013-01-03 09:57:17 PM
Is this not a repeat? Give us the final count, human and snakes already...
 
2013-01-03 09:58:09 PM
If they want to get rid of them, start having celebrities wear Gucci designed 'Florida python' clothing. Create a market and humans have proven to be very good at driving animals to extinction.
 
2013-01-03 09:59:14 PM
24.media.tumblr.com
 
2013-01-03 09:59:15 PM

Sloppy Wreck: Is this not a repeat? Give us the final count, human and snakes already...


Followup I'm told.
 
2013-01-03 10:03:29 PM

wellreadneck: Karac: Bathia_Mapes: taurusowner: Question

Besides, this current solution is to get rednecks to go grab their guns and try to shoot up something. It's not lik ...

What do you mean "try"? You obviously never saw my redneck grandmother hunt down a copperhead with a garden hoe.


My grandma use to do the same thing with garter snakes, despite us telling her how they were beneficial in keeping pests like field mice out of her garden.
 
2013-01-03 10:09:16 PM
I live in South Florida, and I hate hunting, but as FSM is my witness, I want to sign up and go get me some new snake-skin boots. If all life is based on intelligent design, then snakes are what came up during an all-night bath salts binge.
 
2013-01-03 10:17:08 PM
[excitedly]

Hopefully EVERYTHING!
 
2013-01-03 10:20:05 PM
Now THIS is a reality show I would watch.

/never thought I'd say that
 
2013-01-03 10:22:19 PM

baronvonzipper: teeny: I'm so glad there's at least a few states easier to make fun of than my own California.

Florida never fails to disappoint.

Yeah, but California is another country altogether


To be sure. But as farked up as this state is, I can still be glad I don't live in Florida, Texas, Nevada, Utah, or anywhere in the deep south. All for different reasons. But Florida is the most entertaining.
 
2013-01-03 10:22:58 PM

taurusowner: Bathia_Mapes:
Invasive species are also responsible for the disappearance of certain native birds & animals in Hawaii.

Ok, understandable. But I gotta then ask...so what? New species shows up, some old species go away. Nature continues. Is there an actual problem other than "I like Species X but Species Y is killing them, so let's get rid of Species Y"?


There's a poorly understood reality to evolution, and that is co-evolution. Entire ecosystems evolve together. You are likely familiar with cases where only one type of beetle can pollinate a specific flower. Those two co-evolve in an obvious way, but it extends beyond this. Lynn Margolis, who had a few crazy ideas too, expanded her analysis of symbiosis to include this mutual co-dependence that spans beyond pairs to far more complex dynamic systems.

Invasive species necessarily disrupt that balance and produce rapid changes. Rapid changes are those that occur faster than an ecosystem can adaptatively respond. So it is not so much that we lose one particular butterfly or plant, it's that the entire ecosystem often goes out of balance in a way that affect many species.

Okay, why do you care about that either? Simply because it has unpredictable larger consequences. So it kills off a few mangroves, so what you say. Well that happens to eliminate fish nurseries with a domino effect on ocean fish that can radically reduce the amount of protein we can harvest from the seas leading to hunger and famine, and then war, which raises the price of gas you pay at the pump. So to protect your SUV, we need to minimize the damage done by invasive species.
 
2013-01-03 10:24:35 PM
...Plus, I'm in NorCal. I keep waiting for my state to get serious about cutting the state in half. I'm happy to ditch the ass section of Cali.
 
2013-01-03 10:25:04 PM
I bought a permit and plan to go for a few days. I used to work full time on a Burmese python farm in archer florida so I know about snakes. Several reality t.v. Shows have emailed me for personal information.
 
2013-01-03 10:26:06 PM

wademh: taurusowner: Bathia_Mapes:
Invasive species are also responsible for the disappearance of certain native birds & animals in Hawaii.

Ok, understandable. But I gotta then ask...so what? New species shows up, some old species go away. Nature continues. Is there an actual problem other than "I like Species X but Species Y is killing them, so let's get rid of Species Y"?

There's a poorly understood reality to evolution, and that is co-evolution. Entire ecosystems evolve together. You are likely familiar with cases where only one type of beetle can pollinate a specific flower. Those two co-evolve in an obvious way, but it extends beyond this. Lynn Margolis, who had a few crazy ideas too, expanded her analysis of symbiosis to include this mutual co-dependence that spans beyond pairs to far more complex dynamic systems.

Invasive species necessarily disrupt that balance and produce rapid changes. Rapid changes are those that occur faster than an ecosystem can adaptatively respond. So it is not so much that we lose one particular butterfly or plant, it's that the entire ecosystem often goes out of balance in a way that affect many species.

Okay, why do you care about that either? Simply because it has unpredictable larger consequences. So it kills off a few mangroves, so what you say. Well that happens to eliminate fish nurseries with a domino effect on ocean fish that can radically reduce the amount of protein we can harvest from the seas leading to hunger and famine, and then war, which raises the price of gas you pay at the pump. So to protect your SUV, we need to minimize the damage done by invasive species.


Good explanation.
 
2013-01-03 10:31:22 PM

taurusowner: Bathia_Mapes: taurusowner: Question: What's the actual problem with the snakes being in the Everglades?

I get it, a lot of them were born from snakes released into the wild by former owners. So they were introduced by humanity. Got it. Are they killing people or something? I know, they are probably edging out some other species. Nature tends to get upset by outside factors and takes some time to regain balance, if it was ever balanced at all. All I'm saying is that some species thrive, some go extinct. The planet changes and ecosystems change to keep up. It's always happened and won't stop now.

Is there something else going on here other than a feeling of "we humans liked the Everglades as it was before these snakes were here, and since we put them here, we're going to try to remove them"? Is there an actual problem that's harming people or ruining business or commerce? Or is it just people not liking that the ecosystem changed and they want to change it back.

FTA....(And this is referring to Burmese pythons, an invasive species) The voracious predators have devastated the native species like deer, bobcats and raccoons.

Invasive species are also responsible for the disappearance of certain native birds & animals in Hawaii.

Ok, understandable. But I gotta then ask...so what? New species shows up, some old species go away. Nature continues. Is there an actual problem other than "I like Species X but Species Y is killing them, so let's get rid of Species Y"?

Consider Zebra Muscles. Other than the "they're not native so it's our fault" argument, they ARE actually causing problems. Clogging up pipes, damaging boats and other property, edging out other species that are used as game fish or for commercial fishing, etc. Actual problems beyond "I don't like them here". Is there something comparable going on with the snakes?


The predator capable of eating your kids and pets thing might be something you could care about. They can and will clog up pipes and I'd sure hate to have one come up through the toilet while I was taking a shiat. As a birdwatcher and someone who has fished in the Everglades the probable extinction of some native species is a concern to me. I don't think you quite understand the scale of the problem or the type of predator these snakes are in general. They are very effective ambush predators that breed prolifically. This isn't a "I don't like them here" issue.
 
2013-01-03 10:33:29 PM

taurusowner: Is there something else going on here other than a feeling of "we humans liked the Everglades as it was before these snakes were here, and since we put them here, we're going to try to remove them"? Is there an actual problem that's harming people or ruining business or commerce? Or is it just people not liking that the ecosystem changed and they want to change it back.


They are eating all the other animals in the everglades, including some of the smaller alligators.
Also, they are dangerous.

Yeehaw! Let the games begin.
 
2013-01-03 10:34:22 PM
Don't you mean, "what could POSSIBLY go right?"

/ Just sayin'.
 
2013-01-03 10:34:50 PM
What can't go right?
 
2013-01-03 10:37:34 PM

taurusowner: Question: What's the actual problem with the snakes being in the Everglades?

I get it, a lot of them were born from snakes released into the wild by former owners. So they were introduced by humanity. Got it. Are they killing people or something? I know, they are probably edging out some other species. Nature tends to get upset by outside factors and takes some time to regain balance, if it was ever balanced at all. All I'm saying is that some species thrive, some go extinct. The planet changes and ecosystems change to keep up. It's always happened and won't stop now.

Is there something else going on here other than a feeling of "we humans liked the Everglades as it was before these snakes were here, and since we put them here, we're going to try to remove them"? Is there an actual problem that's harming people or ruining business or commerce? Or is it just people not liking that the ecosystem changed and they want to change it back.


I don't like the "human farkups are just another part of nature's rebalancing" argument. We are absolutely unlike the raft of eathquake debris washing some pregnant rat up on some remote island somewhere or whatever. We act consciously, with intent and choice and the ability to forsee the effects of our actions. The damage we do is willful. We are the only "outside factor," so far as we know, which has this ability, and the presence of pythons - and the myriad other rampaging aliens - in the Everglades is evidence of conscious human failure. Nature equipped our species with the most highly advanced brain ever to appear on earth, and people should know better than to build a farking carp-farm on a river floodplain or release farking pythons into a vulnerable area like the Everglades.
 
2013-01-03 10:38:13 PM

juvandy: Plus, you can also look at it like this: the current makeup of species in the everglades works. You introduce a new top-level predator and who knows what it'll do. Maybe it outhunts other predators leading to their local extinction, causing a population explosion of some animal that that predator ate but the snake doesn't. Maybe it eats all the deer and drives down tourism revenue. You just don't know what the effect is going to be, so why take the chance that it'll be bad?

Especially when so many other invasive species: African bees, snakeheads, kudzu, boll weevils - have been so bad for the local economy or ecosystems.

Besides, this current solution is to get rednecks to go grab their guns and try to shoot up something. It's not like it's going to require a lot of effort by the local government.

The current species makeup of the everglades includes pacus, armored catfish, burmese pythons, exotic rats and mice, european starlings, humans, dogs, cats, japanese beetles, water hyacinth, australian pine, australian paperbark, curly-tailed lizards, at least 5 species of caribbean anoles, at least 4 species of old-world geckoes, cuban treefrogs, brazilian pepper, feral hogs, peacock bass

-this is not an exhaustive list by any means, but it highlights the fact that the Everglades ecosystem is NOT a natural system. The pythons, while likely having an affect on some mammalian predators, are only one of very many invasive species, each of which are depredating or outcompeting native species. Nothing we can do is going to change any of that, and pythons themselves are so cryptic that to think we can control them using these types of measures is exceptionally naive.


The list of invasive species is long as is the list of native species. It probably to is too late to do much about Burmese pythons but I'd prefer someone at least try or the list of invasive and native species is going to be much shorter. Ecological diversity is much better than a single predominant species cannibalizing its own after eating everything else.
 
2013-01-03 10:40:57 PM
Question: what keeps Burmese pythons in check in Burma? Tigers?
 
2013-01-03 10:44:38 PM

cloud_van_dame: Question: what keeps Burmese pythons in check in Burma? Tigers?


Other pythons, mostly. Also monitor lizards, which love the eggs, and various small reptiles and mammals. There's really not much in the Everglades that's caught up with eating pythons and their eggs yet. I'm sure there will be, in time, but so far, not yet.

Problem is, catching the big pythons one at a time won't do the job. It's like those idiots down in the bayous trying to kill nutria one at a time by shooting them. They're just big rats,and nobody ever exterminated rats by plinking them to death.
 
2013-01-03 10:52:28 PM

occamswrist: Amateurs? They paid $25 each. That makes them professionals in my eyes.


please note: professionals are paid for their service. contestants that pay a fee to participate in a event for amateurs are not professionals.

Subby please note: the difference between amateurs and beginners.
 
2013-01-03 10:52:37 PM
The list of invasive species is long as is the list of native species. It probably to is too late to do much about Burmese pythons but I'd prefer someone at least try or the list of invasive and native species is going to be much shorter. Ecological diversity is much better than a single predominant species cannibalizing its own after eating everything else.

This is a strawman argument. There is no compelling evidence whatsoever that a single species will, or even can, come to dominate an artificial ecosystem. The only evidence at all for such monocultures comes from overly simplistic mathematical models and test-tube ecology microcosm experiments that cannot fully encapsulate the complexity of evolving systems, and where the starting (and ending) conditions are manipulated by the experimenters. Sure, a number of species probably will go extinct in some locations, but a number will also adapt to the novel conditions. Also, most of the species directly threatened by burmese pythons in particular are not endemic to the everglades- they are found throughout the state of FL. While the glades may end up being a net sink population for those species, they won't be going extinct everywhere. Also, there will probably be unexpected benefits. The local reductions in raccoon populations are likely going to end up being a tremendous boon for crocodilian and turtle hatching success throughout the area.

Eliminating any of the invasive species without significantly damaging the unique physical properties of the everglades and/or threatening the native fauna is next to impossible. In this case specifically, how many native snakes are going to get blown away by ignorant hunters who don't know how to tell the difference? Burms are incredibly cryptic, especially for their size, and the idea that these hunting measures will actually get rid of them is laughable. Aside from a few roads, the habitat is also not easily accessible, which gives the snakes millions of places where they will not probably ever even see a human.
 
2013-01-03 11:07:34 PM
All I can picture is Martin Perkins being repeatedly submerged in the water by a large snake, and the cameraMan calmly filming as if its no big deal. I hope after they were done, Martin kicked his butt. All the rest of the episodes, Martin stayed up on the hill and sent Jim to wrangle the wildebeast.
 
2013-01-03 11:09:05 PM
www.flatrock.org.nz
 
2013-01-03 11:09:36 PM
static.tvfanatic.com
 
2013-01-03 11:09:51 PM

Keys dude: I live in the Middle Keys, half between Key Largo and Key West. Our water utility company snagged one BEHIND PUBLIX, right behind it, around quarter mile from my house, 100 feet off U.S. 1. So, while I am not a fan of yahoos heading to the Everglades for this, I don't really have a problem, either (it was never determined if the Publix snake was a released pet or wild animal because the crew killed it and disposed of it without notifying wildlife officials, but still...)


How exactly would one tell if a python were a released pet or a wild snake?
 
2013-01-03 11:09:53 PM

juvandy: The list of invasive species is long as is the list of native species. It probably to is too late to do much about Burmese pythons but I'd prefer someone at least try or the list of invasive and native species is going to be much shorter. Ecological diversity is much better than a single predominant species cannibalizing its own after eating everything else.

This is a strawman argument. There is no compelling evidence whatsoever that a single species will, or even can, come to dominate an artificial ecosystem. The only evidence at all for such monocultures comes from overly simplistic mathematical models and test-tube ecology microcosm experiments that cannot fully encapsulate the complexity of evolving systems, and where the starting (and ending) conditions are manipulated by the experimenters. Sure, a number of species probably will go extinct in some locations, but a number will also adapt to the novel conditions. Also, most of the species directly threatened by burmese pythons in particular are not endemic to the everglades- they are found throughout the state of FL. While the glades may end up being a net sink population for those species, they won't be going extinct everywhere. Also, there will probably be unexpected benefits. The local reductions in raccoon populations are likely going to end up being a tremendous boon for crocodilian and turtle hatching success throughout the area.

Eliminating any of the invasive species without significantly damaging the unique physical properties of the everglades and/or threatening the native fauna is next to impossible. In this case specifically, how many native snakes are going to get blown away by ignorant hunters who don't know how to tell the difference? Burms are incredibly cryptic, especially for their size, and the idea that these hunting measures will actually get rid of them is laughable. Aside from a few roads, the habitat is also not easily accessible, which gives the snakes millions of places wher ...


It's not a strawman, it's an exaggeration for the sake of emphasis. I'm certainly not arguing that this hunting event is likely to eliminate or even dent the Burmese python population and it may very well be damaging to native snake populations. I am hopeful that it will raise awareness. While species may be endemic to Florida and other states it does not change the fact that their loss in the Everglades is still...a loss. Burmese pythons will eat alligators, American crocodiles, turtles, their eggs, and their prey. I don't see how Burmese pythons can in any way benefit them. Time will tell and the Everglades is unlikely to become a monoculture but a drastic loss in species diversity and population is likely and that's going to be a shame.
 
2013-01-03 11:13:37 PM

al's hat: It's not a strawman, it's an exaggeration for the sake of emphasis


That's pretty much the definition of a strawman.
 
2013-01-03 11:14:48 PM
Burmese pythons will eat alligators, American crocodiles, turtles, their eggs, and their prey. I don't see how Burmese pythons can in any way benefit them.

Burmese pythons have never been documented to eat turtles or dig up turtle or crocodilian eggs. I'm sure they'd eat bird eggs from a nest, given the opportunity. The substantial reduction of raccoons (a MAJOR nest predator responsible for up to 90% of turtle nest and hatchling mortality in nature) will benefit turtle, and likely crocodilian, populations. Because burms are ectotherms and don't need to eat very often, as opposed to raccoons which must eat daily, the net effect will probably end up benefiting both crocodilians and turtles.
 
2013-01-03 11:19:40 PM

juvandy: This is a strawman argument. There is no compelling evidence whatsoever that a single species will, or even can, come to dominate an artificial ecosystem.


Google up guam "tree snake" for the first real-world example that I can pull out of the top of my head.
 
2013-01-03 11:22:11 PM

roaneranger: All I can picture is Martin Perkins being repeatedly submerged in the water by a large snake, and the cameraMan calmly filming as if its no big deal. I hope after they were done, Martin kicked his butt. All the rest of the episodes, Martin stayed up on the hill and sent Jim to wrangle the wildebeast.


Marlin, my friend, like the fish.

/ hopefully, I have now become the person that changed a childhood memory for you and now you will always remember me when you think of Marlin Perkins wrestling a giant snake.
/ ...and tomorrow, The WORLD!!!
 
2013-01-03 11:23:52 PM

taurusowner: al's hat: It's not a strawman, it's an exaggeration for the sake of emphasis

That's pretty much the definition of a strawman.


Actually it's not. It's generally considered to be the misrepresentation of the other person's position. I don't see where I did that. What I did is closer to hyperbole.
 
2013-01-03 11:27:26 PM
Google up guam "tree snake" for the first real-world example that I can pull out of the top of my head.

Local extinction of natural bird populations does not equal "monoculture", nor does it equal "ecological devastation". Invertebrate species usually eaten by birds are thriving, and spider populations in particular are booming, such that the insect explosion that was often predicted to devastate the plant diversity of the island has not happened. All that happened is we lost the warm and fuzzies.

Guam also is incomparable to the everglades, where there are a greater diversity of non-avian species, not to mention an insane diversity and density of other invasive/exotic species.
 
2013-01-03 11:29:44 PM

juvandy: Eliminating any of the invasive species without significantly damaging the unique physical properties of the everglades and/or threatening the native fauna is next to impossible. In this case specifically, how many native snakes are going to get blown away by ignorant hunters who don't know how to tell the difference? Burms are incredibly cryptic, especially for their size, and the idea that these hunting measures will actually get rid of them is laughable. Aside from a few roads, the habitat is also not easily accessible, which gives the snakes millions of places where they will not probably ever even see a human.


But, yeah, this. They've got 'em and they ain't gettin' rid of 'em. I'm fine with the hunting, but it's never going to significantly affect the numbers. They'll be just picking at the fringes, and probably breeding a population of extra-stealthy pythons in the process.
 
2013-01-03 11:36:27 PM

Clockwork Kumquat: and probably breeding a population of extra-stealthy pythons in the process.


And the game continues. Nature will keep adapting. The sooner everyone realizes we're part of this system, not outsiders looking in on some pristine "this is the way it's supposed to be" environment, the better. Bringing the snakes to Florida didn't destroy the evolutionary process, it just slightly altered the course. Killing a handful of snakes among untold numbers in the wild likewise won't destroy it. It will just change the course slightly.

Nature just "is". It's not supposed to be any certain way. Earth has been covered in lava, covered in ice, covered in oceans and everything in between. Things change. Species adapt, thrive, fail to adapt, and go extinct. And something else takes their place. The game goes on.
 
2013-01-03 11:40:15 PM

juvandy: Google up guam "tree snake" for the first real-world example that I can pull out of the top of my head.

Local extinction of natural bird populations does not equal "monoculture", nor does it equal "ecological devastation". Invertebrate species usually eaten by birds are thriving, and spider populations in particular are booming, such that the insect explosion that was often predicted to devastate the plant diversity of the island has not happened. All that happened is we lost the warm and fuzzies.

Guam also is incomparable to the everglades, where there are a greater diversity of non-avian species, not to mention an insane diversity and density of other invasive/exotic species.


I don't know...the brown tree snake looks to be pretty much ecologically devastating.

http://www.issg.org/database/species/impact_info.asp?si=54&lang=EN
 
2013-01-03 11:44:50 PM

juvandy: Google up guam "tree snake" for the first real-world example that I can pull out of the top of my head.

Local extinction of natural bird populations does not equal "monoculture", nor does it equal "ecological devastation". Invertebrate species usually eaten by birds are thriving, and spider populations in particular are booming, such that the insect explosion that was often predicted to devastate the plant diversity of the island has not happened. All that happened is we lost the warm and fuzzies.

Guam also is incomparable to the everglades, where there are a greater diversity of non-avian species, not to mention an insane diversity and density of other invasive/exotic species.


Guam is an island, so that was one strike against it; and Guam's bird species had evolved in a total absence of snakes which was the main reason the brown tree snake invasion was such an ecological nightmare. The Everglades species, while not used to pythons, DID evolve in the presence of rattlers, cottonmouths and a host of other nonvenomous snakes, so they are at least prepared to deal with snake intrusions. Also, being a much larger land mass, with seasonal migrations, the Everglades is better equipped to handle nonnative invasions than island Guam, where most of the birds never migrated annually.

Plus (one more strike) Guam is tropical, where the Everglades are semi-tropical--the brown tree snake was in its native environment in Guam and able to breed and spread year-round. The python is at a serious disadvantage in Florida, which has seasons (more than Southeast Asia); the periodic cold snaps are difficult for its breeding cycle and often kill nests and younger pythons. So it's bad, but the two situations are really not at all comparable.
 
2013-01-03 11:47:18 PM
!???????????


images.thevine.com.au
 
2013-01-03 11:47:32 PM

juvandy: Local extinction of natural bird populations does not equal "monoculture", nor does it equal "ecological devastation".


Your insistence here on the establishment of a perfect monoculture as the criterion for domination of an ecosystem is... invalid, I guess, and if you don't define the situation on Guam as an ecological catastrophe, then you and I are looking at different dictionaries.
 
2013-01-03 11:53:54 PM
They are going to kill every snake instead of pythons
 
2013-01-04 12:05:51 AM

Your insistence here on the establishment of a perfect monoculture as the criterion for domination of an ecosystem is... invalid, I guess, and if you don't define the situation on Guam as an ecological catastrophe, then you and I are looking at different dictionaries.


I used that term in response to the comment "Ecological diversity is much better than a single predominant species cannibalizing its own after eating everything else." I agree it is overly simplistic, but that doesn't refute that the fears of ecological collapse (which I interpret to mean a barren system, or else it's basically a useless term) as a result of loss of biodiversity have never been justified by observation. On Guam, the extinction of an island community of vertebrates, which make up less than 1% of biodiversity on earth (I don't know what percentage on Guam itself), isn't an ecological catastrophe, though there certainly will be cascading effects due to the loss of mutualisms and disruptions of the food web. However, evolution doesn't just stop, and species will evolve, or they won't, to the new paradigm.

Furthermore, birds are highly mobile, and will return to the island eventually, and will likely re-populate and evolve into novel species in the process, with or without snakes present. The world isn't a static system.

The reason it gets all the headlines is because birds are charismatic megafauna. That's all.
 
2013-01-04 12:20:05 AM
aww, poor babies. I had a Burm for a few years. Gave her to friends when I went back to school. She was about 11-12' by then.
 
2013-01-04 12:32:31 AM

juvandy: Your insistence here on the establishment of a perfect monoculture as the criterion for domination of an ecosystem is... invalid, I guess, and if you don't define the situation on Guam as an ecological catastrophe, then you and I are looking at different dictionaries.

I used that term in response to the comment "Ecological diversity is much better than a single predominant species cannibalizing its own after eating everything else." I agree it is overly simplistic, but that doesn't refute that the fears of ecological collapse (which I interpret to mean a barren system, or else it's basically a useless term)


Wrong. It is not a useless term unless it maps to a barren system.
Ecosystems are often described at webs for good reason. They develop with a complex network of interdependence.
And most importantly, in a complex ecosystem it is far less likely to have single species monopolizing specific niches. This translates into a robustness that provides its own variant of homeostatis to the ecosystem. A particularly bad year or good year for one species does not allow it to have as large of an impact across the web --- other strands of the web take up the strain.
As you decrease that complexity, you tend to isolate species within specific niches rendering much of, and perhaps the entirety of, the ecosystem susceptible to single points of failure. It should be obvious that you don't want a system where if any one of multiple parts fails, the entire system fails. Prior to complete collapse, one has these states of increased susceptibility. In essence, we don't just have to worry about fatal cardiac arrest, we should worry about getting fat and out of shape.
 
2013-01-04 12:42:04 AM
What about pure Alabama Black Snake?
cdn1.hark.com
 
2013-01-04 12:42:05 AM
Pray to Yig.
 
2013-01-04 01:08:41 AM

drjekel_mrhyde: They are going to kill every snake instead of pythons


No they won't. But hopefully they'll take out all the moccasins and eastern diamondbacks that they come across.
 
2013-01-04 01:23:09 AM
I don't see what could POSSIBLY go wrong

I certainly don't.

/and nothing of value will be lost
 
2013-01-04 01:43:11 AM
Wrong. It is not a useless term unless it maps to a barren system.
Ecosystems are often described at webs for good reason. They develop with a complex network of interdependence.
And most importantly, in a complex ecosystem it is far less likely to have single species monopolizing specific niches. This translates into a robustness that provides its own variant of homeostatis to the ecosystem. A particularly bad year or good year for one species does not allow it to have as large of an impact across the web --- other strands of the web take up the strain.
As you decrease that complexity, you tend to isolate species within specific niches rendering much of, and perhaps the entirety of, the ecosystem susceptible to single points of failure. It should be obvious that you don't want a system where if any one of multiple parts fails, the entire system fails. Prior to complete collapse, one has these states of increased susceptibility. In essence, we don't just have to worry about fatal cardiac arrest, we should worry about getting fat and out of shape.


But you're still describing a system where you define the end result as "entire system fails" and "complete collapse", which, again, I can only interpret as "barren wasteland devoid of life". What do your terms mean, if not the idea that every living organism is gone? Do they just mean that every native organism is gone? In either case, that has never been documented to happen in a wild system, because new species either evolve organically or immigrate to take advantage of novel niches and inter-species relationships. They may not be cute and cuddly like the birds formerly inhabiting Guam, but there is still life there. The only thing that results in total system failure is a disruption to the physical environment that prevents the sustainment of ANY life, i.e. changes to the gas composition of the atmosphere, drastic changes in local temperature/climate regimes, etc. Even the mass extinctions that have occurred several times throughout earth's history have not resulted in ecosystem failure. Otherwise, we wouldn't be here.
 
2013-01-04 02:23:55 AM

cloud_van_dame: Question: what keeps Burmese pythons in check in Burma? Tigers?


orangecow.org
The penguin on the telly.
 
2013-01-04 02:30:34 AM
Unless it explodes
 
2013-01-04 04:06:35 AM

roaneranger: All I can picture is Martin Perkins being repeatedly submerged in the water by a large snake, and the cameraMan calmly filming as if its no big deal. I hope after they were done, Martin kicked his butt. All the rest of the episodes, Martin stayed up on the hill and sent Jim to wrangle the wildebeast.


I remember that show! My family was watching it (...brought to you by Mutual of Omaha...) and my mother laughed until she cried.

/Wasn't his name Marlin Perkins?
 
2013-01-04 06:45:25 AM

Gary Coleman's kidneys: roaneranger: All I can picture is Martin Perkins being repeatedly submerged in the water by a large snake, and the cameraMan calmly filming as if its no big deal. I hope after they were done, Martin kicked his butt. All the rest of the episodes, Martin stayed up on the hill and sent Jim to wrangle the wildebeast.

Marlin, my friend, like the fish.

/ hopefully, I have now become the person that changed a childhood memory for you and now you will always remember me when you think of Marlin Perkins wrestling a giant snake.
/ ...and tomorrow, The WORLD!!!


Damn autocorrect.
 
2013-01-04 11:57:15 AM

roaneranger: Gary Coleman's kidneys: roaneranger: All I can picture is Martin Perkins being repeatedly submerged in the water by a large snake, and the cameraMan calmly filming as if its no big deal. I hope after they were done, Martin kicked his butt. All the rest of the episodes, Martin stayed up on the hill and sent Jim to wrangle the wildebeast.

Marlin, my friend, like the fish.

/ hopefully, I have now become the person that changed a childhood memory for you and now you will always remember me when you think of Marlin Perkins wrestling a giant snake.
/ ...and tomorrow, The WORLD!!!

Damn autocorrect.


I knew you meant wild beast and not wildebeast, no worries.
 
2013-01-04 10:51:35 PM

juvandy: Wrong. It is not a useless term unless it maps to a barren system.
Ecosystems are often described at webs for good reason. They develop with a complex network of interdependence.
And most importantly, in a complex ecosystem it is far less likely to have single species monopolizing specific niches. This translates into a robustness that provides its own variant of homeostatis to the ecosystem. A particularly bad year or good year for one species does not allow it to have as large of an impact across the web --- other strands of the web take up the strain.
As you decrease that complexity, you tend to isolate species within specific niches rendering much of, and perhaps the entirety of, the ecosystem susceptible to single points of failure. It should be obvious that you don't want a system where if any one of multiple parts fails, the entire system fails. Prior to complete collapse, one has these states of increased susceptibility. In essence, we don't just have to worry about fatal cardiac arrest, we should worry about getting fat and out of shape.

But you're still describing a system where you define the end result as "entire system fails" and "complete collapse", which, again, I can only interpret as "barren wasteland devoid of life". What do your terms mean, if not the idea that every living organism is gone? Do they just mean that every native organism is gone? In either case, that has never been documented to happen in a wild system, because new species either evolve organically or immigrate to take advantage of novel niches and inter-species relationships. They may not be cute and cuddly like the birds formerly inhabiting Guam, but there is still life there. The only thing that results in total system failure is a disruption to the physical environment that prevents the sustainment of ANY life, i.e. changes to the gas composition of the atmosphere, drastic changes in local temperature/climate regimes, etc. Even the mass extinctions that have occurred seve ...


Several well stated comments. We seem to be on the same page in regards to this issue...thank you for your input.
 
2013-01-04 11:01:43 PM

Gyrfalcon: juvandy: Google up guam "tree snake" for the first real-world example that I can pull out of the top of my head.

Local extinction of natural bird populations does not equal "monoculture", nor does it equal "ecological devastation". Invertebrate species usually eaten by birds are thriving, and spider populations in particular are booming, such that the insect explosion that was often predicted to devastate the plant diversity of the island has not happened. All that happened is we lost the warm and fuzzies.

Guam also is incomparable to the everglades, where there are a greater diversity of non-avian species, not to mention an insane diversity and density of other invasive/exotic species.

Guam is an island, so that was one strike against it; and Guam's bird species had evolved in a total absence of snakes which was the main reason the brown tree snake invasion was such an ecological nightmare. The Everglades species, while not used to pythons, DID evolve in the presence of rattlers, cottonmouths and a host of other nonvenomous snakes, so they are at least prepared to deal with snake intrusions. Also, being a much larger land mass, with seasonal migrations, the Everglades is better equipped to handle nonnative invasions than island Guam, where most of the birds never migrated annually.

Plus (one more strike) Guam is tropical, where the Everglades are semi-tropical--the brown tree snake was in its native environment in Guam and able to breed and spread year-round. The python is at a serious disadvantage in Florida, which has seasons (more than Southeast Asia); the periodic cold snaps are difficult for its breeding cycle and often kill nests and younger pythons. So it's bad, but the two situations are really not at all comparable.


I'm not so sure that Florida's minimal winter season is a serious disadvantage to the Burmese python but I'm certainly willing to hope that is the case. A cold snap in 2010 had iguanas falling from the trees in south Florida with some/(many?) recovering when the temperatures rose. Like I said, we can hope.
 
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