- New Science in Brief
Burmese Pythons Chowing Down on Everglades Rabbits
Native mammals are unlikely to rebound while pythons are present, a study suggests.
Pythons in the Everglades have a taste for rabbits, and a new study finds that the invaders' voracious appetites are to blame for pushing native mammals out of large areas of the wetlands.
Some of the Burmese pythons in the Everglades started out as pets that were released or dumped in the wild, creating a thriving python population. The python has become the top predator of marsh rabbits in the snakes' territory, as reported Tuesday in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
The Everglades rabbits have steadily been disappearing from python-inhabited areas. To confirm that the invasive snakes are the culprit, researchers moved rabbits from python-free areas of the Everglades into areas where the snakes are found, and used