May 9th, 2010 23:11 EST
Thousands of Exotic Pythons are on The Loose and Breeding in The U.S.
Thousands of exotic pythons are on the loose and breeding in the U.S. Now, alligators in Florida are struggling with these non-native snakes that are wreaking havoc on our native wildlife.
These exotic snakes could even slither their way near the nation`s capital!
Take action now -- urge the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to classify pythons and eight other non-native species as "injurious reptiles" to help prevent destruction of our native wildlife and habitat.
Each year, millions of live wild animals -- including many types of pythons and anacondas -- enter our country legally. Eventually, some escape or are released into the wild where they can harm entire ecosystems and pose risks to our native wildlife -- including many endangered species.
The U.S. Geological Survey released a comprehensive report on nine large snake species -- including some snakes that can grow over 20 feet long and weigh more than 200 pounds -- and concluded they all pose either medium or high risk to our environment.
Support the federal proposal to restrict these harmful snakes -- before it`s too late for our native wildlife!
Between 1999 and 2008, 1.8 million live constrictor snakes were imported into the United States. Some of these snakes have made their way into the wilds of Florida -- including breeding populations of Northern African pythons west of Miami and Burmese pythons in the fragile Everglades ecosystem.
These prolific breeders -- an adult female can lay 85 eggs per year -- could soon move beyond Florida`s borders.
Please take action today to urge federal officials to adopt important rules to stem the tide of the exotic snake invasion. Please act now -- the deadline for comments on this important proposal is Tuesday, May 11th!
Together, we can help ensure a brighter future for our native wildlife and wild places.
Director of International Conservation
Defenders of Wildlife