The Environmental Journal of Southern Appalachia
Tuesday, 29 March 2022 15:33

Bobcats vs. pythons in the swamps of Florida

Bobcat vs. python 2USGS

New York Times: Evolving native predation may help stem invasion of Burmese python

The proliferation of the exotic and invasive Burmese python in the swamps and wilds of Florida is demonstrably bad for native birds and mammals.

Researchers now have evidence the best solution might have been there all along.

A bobcat was captured on a trail camera by the U.S. Geological Survey eating python eggs and challenging one of the gigantic snakes. It was the first instance of natural, native predation on the snake’s eggs. Bobcats are already known to target reptile eggs, including those of sea turtles.

“While it is possible that this interaction was just an isolated incident, it is also possible that native species are beginning to respond to the presence of the python,” the New York Times reported.

“‘Most cat species adapt their diet to what is available, so bobcats predating on python eggs is actually not that surprising’” said Mathias Tobler, a wildlife ecologist at the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance.”