Invasive Reptiles in Florida- Invasive Species of Florida
Invasive reptiles in Florida are causing a problem in the state. Among the United States, Florida has the biggest problem with invasive species. In fact, the state has the largest invasive species population in the world.
Invasive species are ones that are not native to the region. Currently, 137 non-native species exist in the state. More than fifty of the invasive species have become a part of Florida ecology. Lizards, snakes, turtles and frogs are some of the animals that now live in the region. An animal that is related to the American alligator has also entered the country. This animal is known as a caiman.
In Florida, invasive species are mainly brought in by people who trade pets. Many groups within the country are pushing for stronger laws that restrict the entry of exotic pets. One of the persons involved in conducing research into their effect on the environment is herpetologist Kenneth Krysko. He is a researcher based in the state and has recently published the results of his work in the Zootaxa journal.
His study has linked the exotic pet industry to the introduction of most of the species introduced to Florida from 1863 to 2010. More than twenty percent of those species have been linked to a specific importer in his study. The link was established because the animals have only been listed in the inventory of that particular company. Zoos and cargo have also been listed in his study as a source of non-native reptiles and amphibians.
The African land snail is one of the invasive species that exists in South Florida. This animal is a danger to residences and commercial buildings in the state. The African land snail also threatens the safety of human health in South Florida.
The snail acts as a vector for a parasite that causes meningitis. In addition to this, it is a voracious consumer of crops. It likes to eat more than five hundred types of plants and is harmful to agricultural crops and inorganic material like plaster. In the past, it cost more than a million dollars to eradicate about 18,000 of them. These were the offspring of three parent snails that were brought into the state by a young boy.
The Burmese python is one of the most notorious invasive reptiles in Florida. This snake is currently banned in Florida. Several other large reptiles were included in the ban. People who owned these exotic reptiles before the ban was enforced are allowed to keep their animals. This new law only applies to people who want to get them now.
People were forbidden from purchasing them in 2010, after a little girl was killed by a Burmese python. The snake was a family pet that escaped from its tank. Burmese pythons in the wild can kill key deer, Florida panthers and other native species.