Where the Burmese python currently lives in Florida, it is a major competitor of the American alligator. American alligators are small prey specialists that live in freshwater wetland environments. The Burmese python is also a small prey specialist, and it prefers to inhabit areas adjacent to wetlands. The two species are eating the same prey and living in the same spots. It is possible that the python will reduce alligator numbers, which were once quite low. The alligator was hunted to near extinction for its hide and for the exotic pet trade. Now, the alligator faces competition with the snakes. Other species that may be affected by the python’s presence include the Key Largo woodrat and the round-tailed muskrat, which the snake is known to eat. If the snake’s range extends northward, it is likely that a host of species are going to be negatively impacted.
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