LISTEN LIVE

Smartphone App Tracks Burmese Pythons

Aug 2, 2015
Originally published on July 31, 2015 12:49 pm

An environmental advocacy group has a message for locals about the Burmese python. These non-native, invasive snakes are changing the ecosystem within the everglades. And the Conservancy of Southwest Florida says if you encounter one, do not kill it.  They’re asking you to report it through an app on your smartphone.

Ian Bartoszek is a biologist for the Conservancy. He’s been tracking Burmese pythons on state conservation lands for more than two years. Bartoszek either euthanizes the ones he finds, or uses them to locate more. But he said if residents attempt to kill these snakes, they could actually do more harm than good.

"We've had a few people bring in dead snakes to the Conservancy, mistaking them for Burmese pythons when usually they were Corn snakes, or Red Rat snakes, or juvenile Black Racer snakes, which are native and provide tremendous ecological service to our ecosystem," said Bartoszek. 

That’s where the app comes in. If Floridians come across these snakes, Bartoszek recommends reporting it on the “I’ve Got 1” app for smartphones. State wildlife officials and environmental groups review the findings. 

Copyright 2015 WGCU Public Broadcasting. To see more, visit http://www.wgcu.org.