Thursday, April 2, 2015

A problem with pythons? An opinion essay.

    A problem with pythons?

Involves politics. Viewer discretion advised.

Invasive species. They’re everywhere in one form or another. Everything from pythons in the Everglades to pretty European flowers in your yard is an invasive species. In general, an invasive species is a species that’s surviving and thriving where it doesn’t belong. And there are lots of legal restrictions because of them like the oh-so-infamous python ban. What should be done? Here are my personal views. Animals should be permitted to stay with their owners but they must be microchipped so that, in case they get loose, their owner can be located. Breeding of animals that might become invasive due to a natural disaster should be illegal south of the Mason-Dixon Line. Breeders of said animals would have 6 months to a year to move their business. The reason there are Burmese Pythons in the Everglades is because a large breeder in Miami was destroyed in Hurricane Andrew. But, if somebody was breeding pythons in Iowa and their business got destroyed due to a tornado, the animals would not survive and therefore not become invasive. What should be done is we should ban species that are actually invasive. At this point, we’re starting to ban everything that’s not a cat or dog. We have banned anacondas that aren’t even in the pet trade in the US. Feral cats and dogs, as well as invasive plants like kudzu and privet do more damage than all the big snakes we’ve banned combined. And in reality, if somebody spends hundreds of dollars on a snake, unless there is something like a natural disaster, they aren’t going to let that snake loose in the Everglades, assuming they’re a reasonable human being. Let people keep their snakes, but make them microchip them. And, individual pets do not an invasive species make. If somebody has one anaconda and it gets loose, it’s not going to destroy an ecosystem and breed out of control unless there’s another anaconda in the area. And why put so much energy to banning pythons when there’s feral pets, invasive plants, and Xenopus frogs (African Clawed Frogs) roaming around, causing economic damage, eating native species, and spreading chytrid fungus. The pythons are in one area, don’t cause that much economic damage, and aren’t spreading disease. Feral pets eat tons of native species. Invasive plants cause lots of economic damage. Xenopus frogs are to blame for the chytrid fungus, which is deadly to amphibians, entering the United States. So, to summarize:Let them keep their snakes, move the breeding north, and ban more damaging species.