IMAGES: Invasive Burmese Python Swallows Entire Deer, Weighed More Than Snake Itself
By Space Coast Daily // March 4, 2018
largest predator/prey ratio ever documented
(Conservancy of Southwest Florida) – The Conservancy of Southwest Florida documented a Burmese python eating a white-tailed deer that weighed more than the python itself.
This is believed to be the largest predator/prey ratio ever documented for the Burmese python, and possibly for any species of python. The findings will be published in the March 2018 issue of Herpetological Review.
“This observation is another important piece of evidence for the negative impact invasive Burmese pythons are having on native wildlife across the Greater Everglades Ecosystem” said Ian Bartoszek, Conservancy of Southwest Florida wildlife biologist.
“Imagine the potential consequences to the state and federally protected Florida panther if Burmese pythons adversely affect the number of white-tailed deer, a panther’s primary prey.”
ABOVE VIDEO: The Conservancy of Southwest Florida documented a Burmese python eating a white-tailed deer that weighed more than the python itself. (Conservancy of Southwest Florida video)
On April 7, 2015, Conservancy wildlife biologists and land managers from Collier-Seminole State Park discovered an 11-foot female Burmese python in the park that was visibly distended by a large food bulge.
After capturing the snake and moving it to an open area, the snake began to regurgitate a young white-tailed deer.
Once both animals could be weighed, the team noted the fawn’s mass was 15.88 kilograms (35 pounds), which was 111.1 percent the mass of the python at 14.29 kg (31.5 pounds).
The find also questions if the Burmese python may be able to negatively impact the population of white-tailed deer by preying on young fawns before they are old enough to mate.
Some studies suggest the Burmese python is responsible for a 90 percent decline in small mammal populations in the eastern Everglades. The Conservancy of Southwest Florida’s mission is to protect the region’s water, land wildlife and future.
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