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Tagged Burmese Python Leads Florida Researchers To Largest Breeding Aggregation

April 17, 2018



Florida researchers, in an effort to control the population of invasive Burmese pythons (Python molurus bivittatus) in the state, used a male python to track a trove of snakes in the middle of a "breeding aggregation," or mating party. 

Burmese python

The Conservancy of Southwest Florida

The Conservancy uses telemetry to locate other Burmese pythons, and in this instance, Argo found the largest breeding aggregation of Burmese pythons in southwest Florida and the western Everglades to date.
 

According to the Orlando Weekly, the snake, named Argo was fitted with a tracking device and let loose a few days before Valentine's Day. Argo found a 100-pound gravid female python, about to lay her eggs. That snake was captured. Argo was released again and three days later and less than a mile from where the first female was found, Argo led researchers to an aggregation of eight snakes.


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'We locate him and then there is another male, and another male and another,' Conservancy wildlife biologist Ian Bartoszek told The Daily Mail. 'We know what all the males are there for, so it's like, where's the female?'

The researchers eventually found the female, all 115 pounds of her.

"Our research has found the best way to find pythons is to use other pythons," Catherine Bergerson, director of communications and marketing with the Conservancy of Southwest Florida told ReptilesMagazine.com. "We are focused on breaking up the breeding cycle. If we can remove females before they lay the eggs, we can prevent pythons from entering the ecosystem. And therefore save native wildlife that the invasive pythons are eating."

The Conservancy uses telemetry to locate other Burmese pythons, and in this instance, Argo found the largest breeding aggregation of Burmese pythons in southwest Florida and the western Everglades to date. 

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