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The cascade effect of invasive species: how one exotic species led to a disease risk in Florida

in the New York Times

Sometime in the 1980s, it became cool to own a pet reptile in Florida. Cooler still was owning one from far away, like from Madagascar, Egypt or Burma. The more exotic, the better. Thousands of cold-blooded creatures moved through Miami’s international airport to their new glass-box homes.

The Burmese python — which can be draped around a neck — was especially popular. A baby python is just 10 inches in length. Much to the surprise of some of their owners, those babies could grow up to 20 times that size. Continue reading

New technologies give hope for managing invasive species

In USA Today

Even for a native Floridian, the 2015 Everglades Invasive Species Summit was a terrifying experience.

Researchers from various government agencies and universities presented their findings last week on plants and animals that didn’t originate in the Everglades but have established themselves there. Those invasive species pose a threat not just to the delicate ecology of the 1.5 million acres of Everglades National Park, but increasingly pose a threat to humans as their populations flourish and spread.

Continue reading