In an effort to protect the famous Everglades in Florida, a ban on the import and transport of yellow anacondas and Burmese pythons across state lines has been enacted.
The ban, which could go into effect in as little as 60 days, was backed by Ken Salazar, the U.S. Interior Secretary. Salazar made his announcement on Tuesday at a flood control pumping station outside Miami, according to Reuters. Salazar stated that it "does us no good to put in these billions of dollars in investments in the Everglades only to have these giant constrictor snakes come in and undo the good that we are doing.”
The reason for the ban is to discourage owners of these snakes, especially Burmese pythons, from depositing them in the Everglades due to the inability to house or take care of their pets. The swamps have been overrun by the non-native species, and have been breeding and feeding on the native species, harming the natural balance of the swamp. Burmese pythons are aggressive, and eradication efforts have proved fruitless.
The ban also includes northern and southern African snakes and the yellow anaconda. Boa constrictors, reticulated pythons, and other anacondas are still legal to import, according to a Chicago Tribune article.
The Everglades cover 11,000 square miles in southern Florida and has been thriving for thousands of years. The swamp is home to numerous species of reptiles, amphibians, fish, birds, and mammals. Settlement of the swamp began in the early 1900s, which severely damaged the ecosystem. In 1947, the Everglades were declared a National Park to preserve and protect the wildlife within it.