January 18, 2012 by staff
Everglades Snakes, U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Tequesta, called a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service rule announced Tuesday to ban the importation and interstate transportation of four non-native constrictor snakes that threaten the Everglades a “half-measure” that won’t provide enough ecological protection for the region.
“The half-measure announced by the Obama administration today will not do nearly enough to protect the Everglades and the surrounding ecosystems,” Rooney stated in a release. “There are nine species of invasive predators that pose a severe threat to our native wildlife, and all nine need to be eradicated.”
The release from Rooney’s office stated that the ban on the Burmese python, yellow anaconda, and northern and southern African pythons only targets 30 percent of the trade of giant snakes.
Rooney filed his own bill that would ban nine snake species — Burmese python, northern African python, southern African python, reticulated python, green anaconda, yellow anaconda, Beni or Bolivian python, DeSchauensee’s anaconda, and boa constrictor.
Boa constrictors and reticulated pythons are traded in the greatest numbers, but are not included in the administration’s final rule, Rooney’s release stated.
In a release from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, four species banned on Tuesday were determined by the U.S. Geological Survey as having a high risk of establishing populations and spreading to other geographic areas in that agency’s 2009 report, “Giant Constrictors: Biological and Management Profiles and an Establishment Risk Assessment for Large Species of Pythons, Anacondas, and the Boa Constrictor.”
“The Burmese python has already gained a foothold in the Florida Everglades, and we must do all we can to battle its spread and to prevent further human contributions of invasive snakes that cause economic and environmental damage,” Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar stated in a release.
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