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U.S. moves to ban ‘alien snakes’

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posted on Jan, 21 2010 @ 09:15 AM
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Constrictors pose the single biggest threat to the environment

good im glad that some action is being taken, to preserve us species

NEW YORK - Federal officials want to keep nine kinds of constrictor snakes out of the United States, saying they belong to invasive species that pose the single biggest threat to the nation's environment.

"This is the story of the invasion of the snakes in the United States of America," Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said Wednesday, standing near a live python at John F. Kennedy International Airport.

He said the Burmese python and the other "alien snakes" are diestroying some of the nation's most treasured — and most fragile — ecosystems.

New York is the biggest point of entry in the U.S. for imported wildlife, the secretary said. The ban covers any kind of import of invasive snakes into the U.S.

In 2009, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Inspectors at Kennedy handled more than 27,000 separate wildlife shipments valued at more than $1 billion, or 16 percent of all U.S. wildlife imports.

Last year, 54,000 live reptiles entered through the New York airport.

The proposed ban covers nine species of giant constrictor snakes including the Burmese, North African and South African pythons, the boa constrictor, and the anaconda — green, yellow and Bolivian, as listed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

About 1 million such snakes have been imported in the past 30 years and even more bred domestically.

Popular pets
The snakes are popular as pets but destructive when released into the wild — especially in sensitive ecosystems like Florida's Everglades National Park and the Florida Keys. Having no natural predators, the adaptable snakes breed and feed on alligators and other imperiled species whose remains have been found in their stomachs.

Video

Snake ban proposed
Jan. 21: Federal officials may ban the import of several species of constrictor snakes. NBC's Chris LeClere reports.
NBC News Channel


"This is an important day for conservation in the United States," said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Sam Hamilton.

He joined Salazar at a news conference in a Kennedy customs warehouse where the live python was on display along with a collection of intercepted snakeskins.

Teams of two open and examine shipments of snakes and other animals — wearing gloves and using a crowbar to open crates containing potentially dangerous creatures.

The ban proposal will be open to public comment for 60 days before a final decision is made.

An invasive species can be any kind of living organism not native to an ecosystem and that causes harm — from amphibians like the cane toad to plants, insects, fish, fungus and bacteria.

The legislation to ban the snakes was introduced in Congress by Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., and Rep. Kendrick Meek, D-Fla.





[edit on 1/21/2010 by l neXus l]




posted on Jan, 21 2010 @ 09:51 AM
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saying they belong to invasive species that pose the single biggest threat to the nation's environment.
WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Single biggest threat to ALL life on this planet = human beings

They are worried that snakes might harm the DELICATE ecosystems are they...hmmm...fascinating...

[edit on 21/1/10 by CHA0S]



posted on Jan, 21 2010 @ 10:52 PM
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Non of these so called Invasive snakes can survive temps below 55 degrees. They quickly get respritory infections which they will not recover from without medical help. The only place in the US where they could survive is the everglades. In the last month the temps in the everglades were well below 55 degrees. Any invasive non native snakes would have died off.
Every now and then a large snake shows up somewhere and everyone freaks out. It gets all the media attention. Then you hear things like "Therer are Hundreds of thousands of them over running the everglades"
Guess what? There was a massive search done in the everglades and guess how many snakes were found? 12. Wow 12 snakes.

If you want the real story do a search for USARK and read the real science not the slander.



posted on Jan, 21 2010 @ 11:31 PM
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There are many things wrong with these statements. Do you have sources for these 'facts'? I live in Florida, and have seen firsthand what kind of damage these snakes (specifically pythons and anacondas) are doing to the ecosystem down here.

"The only place in the US where they could survive is the everglades. In the last month the temps in the everglades were well below 55 degrees. Any invasive non native snakes would have died off."

- We've had record lows down here the past few months. Many days and nights below and a few well below 55 degrees. No effect. At all.

"There was a massive search done in the everglades and guess how many snakes were found? 12. Wow 12 snakes."

- When was this 'massive search' done? And by whom? Typically once or twice a week there's a segment on the local news about the situation. No more than a month ago our local NBC affiliate spent a day with a reptile removal crew. They captured 9 or 10 in a 3 hour span, with 3 snakes literally slithering down the highway while they were driving.

I live a few hours north of the Everglades, but frequently visit the area. I couldn't begin to guess how many there are down there. And it's not just snakes; invasive lizards and frogs are also becoming a problem.

Many snakes show up in front lawns, backyards, pools, etc. It is not an uncommon sight at all. Many pets and native wildlife have become part of these snakes' diet, and in turn there is species to keep them in check. There was even a 2 year old girl who was tragically killed last year. Am I saying these snakes are going around eating children every day? No. Is it the 'greatest' threat to the ecosystem? No, I'll agree that humans are. But keeping non-native species out is a little easier than solving the energy crisis, global warming, etc.



posted on Jan, 21 2010 @ 11:38 PM
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Just to let you know that im not just talking out of my rear. I know a little about snakes since i have several of them. Pics from the ball python weigh in this evening.













What really makes me mad is the govt is trying to take away my right to own a snake. They offer no proof to the fact that they are invasive and over running our country. Its all just talk.
I will defend our rights till my last breath. Those of you that are willing to give yours up stay out of my way.



posted on Jan, 21 2010 @ 11:39 PM
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Kind of off topic, but the albino burmese pythons is the most beautiful snake i've ever seen!





posted on Jan, 21 2010 @ 11:42 PM
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reply to post by Darkice19
 


Wow! you're a lucky guy - they are gorgeous!



posted on Jan, 21 2010 @ 11:46 PM
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Originally posted by bkaust
reply to post by Darkice19
 


Wow! you're a lucky guy - they are gorgeous!


Thanks.
The only snakes that i own on the list are my redtailed boas. Im not willing to give them up.



posted on Jan, 21 2010 @ 11:55 PM
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I never accused anyone of 'talking out of their rear'. I had pet snakes as a child, and we even had several different species as pets at my elementary school. They are remarkable and beautiful animals.

As for proof of them being invasive and 'running over our country', I can't speak for the rest of the country, but down here they are a serious problem. They quickly become the top predator, and eat everything from the fruit rats to alligators, with no predator to keep them in check. Many snakes have been found to have endangered birds and other animals in their digestive tracks after they've been captured.

I'm fairly certain I heard on the news they wouldn't be removing snakes already in possession, just banning the import of more.

@bkaust, I agree! Quite a beautiful animal indeed!



[edit on 22-1-2010 by spartacus3]



posted on Jan, 22 2010 @ 12:04 AM
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Better let the snakes though. But you know they will just try to sneak across the border,lol

Sorry, could not resist.



posted on Jan, 22 2010 @ 12:07 AM
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reply to post by spartacus3
 


Here is one group hunting for snakes. There is a price on any large invasive snake caught and killed. But for some reason none of the teams are finding them.

www.naplesnews.com...



posted on Jan, 22 2010 @ 12:11 AM
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reply to post by Darkice19
 


Star from me and those are some nice looking snakes



posted on Jan, 22 2010 @ 12:27 AM
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Nice article. A few quick thoughts:

A) This was a trial program in which 7 people were given permits to. It ran from July to October. Regardless of the animal you're looking for, 7 people, trying to cover over 6,000 sq km is a hefty task.

B) "After three hours of searching, stormy weather cut the hunting party’s time short and the two returned with nothing to show." Again, over 6,000 sq km, and this article was written after a 3 hour search during summer.

C) The other person questioned in the article, Michael Cole, is a reptile breeder. Would saying there's no reptile problem help or hurt his business?

D) Just under the end of the article, in the 'related stories' section, there's an article saying at the end of the program there were 37 found, not 12.

From that article:
"He said roughly half the snakes killed during this initial permitted hunt were juveniles, confirming to experts that the snakes are reproducing in the wild"

“This was more about finding where they are and seeing if we can contain their expansion,” Scott Hardin, FWC exotic species coordinator



posted on Jan, 22 2010 @ 08:33 AM
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i too love snakes ever since i was a little boy, watching the crocodile hunter and jeff corwin i always wanted to be a herpetologist, that was my dream, i had over 33 snakes that filled my room in highschool, from Western Hognose snakes, to Rosy Boas i had em all, it always makes me sad to see snakes irradicated



posted on Jan, 24 2010 @ 02:56 AM
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Here is a great article on this very subject.

axcessnews.com...



posted on Feb, 3 2010 @ 05:14 AM
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A show on the history channel mentioned that they are now seeing lots king cobras in the florida everglades. Those will likely rile people up more than burmese pythons.



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