News Release Header
For Immediate Release:
January 03, 2012
Media Contact:
Veronica C. Buie
vbuie@miamidade.gov
305-245-4420

Miami-Dade County Commissioner Dennis C. Moss sponsors resolution urging the U. S. Congress to prohibit the importation or sale of the Burmese python and other species of large snakes without a permit


On December 19, 2011, the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution sponsored by Commissioner Dennis C. Moss urging the United States Congress pass H.R. 511 or similar legislation prohibiting the importation or sale of the Burmese python s and eight other species of large constrictor snakes without a permit; Supporting U. S. Fish & Wildlife service rulemaking to list these species of large constrictor snakes as "injurious wildlife" under the Lacey Act to prohibit the importation and interstate transportation of th3ese animals. Urging the Florida Legislature and the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation  Commission to explore additional steps to address these snakes at the state level.

Many exotic animals have been removed from their native lands and placed where they are not always welcome arrivals as part of an increasingly popular international pet trade market; and
among these invasive species are a growing number of Burmese pythons and other large constrictor snakes in the Florida Everglades. The same conditions that allow the vast diversity of wildlife to thrive in the Everglades also support invasive exotic species that throw off the delicate balance of the Everglades' unique ecosystem.

These invaders can harm native species, some of which are threatened and endangered, and add economic burdens to private landowners and public land managers; and giant pythons are well-adapted for success in the Florida Everglades, where the habitat is similar to their Asian home. Their size and power makes them one of the top predators in the Florida Everglades, taking on alligators, blue herons and full-grown deer, and posing a threat to many of the indigenous and endangered species
In October, 2011, for example, a 15.7-foot python was discovered digesting an intact deer in West Miami-Dade County  and more recent, on December 27, 2011, a 13-foot python was discovered and captured in the swimming pool of a resident of South Miami, also of Miami-Dade County Florida. Finding solutions for eradicating these damaging snakes is challenging for a number of reasons, including the difficulty of locating them in the Everglades and ensuring that actions that are taken do not adversely impact native animals.

During the 2010 session, the Florida Legislature passed Chapter No. 2010-185, Laws of Florida (SB 318), which prohibited the following reptiles from being acquired for personal possession. Listed were the Indian or Burmese python, the Reticulated python, the Northern African python;
the Southern African python, the Amethystine python the Scrub python the Green anaconda and the
Nile monitor.

Commissioner Moss strongly urges all residents of Miami-Dade County to be cautious of these creatures and if spotted to immediately call 911.