Tag Archives: burmese python

Python Update: Injurious Wildlife List

US Fish & Wildlife Service To Finalize Constrictor Rule-making

460012_2928585807792_1055351962_32455758_360923696_oThe US Herpetoculture Alliance has confirmed that the US Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) has stated it’s intention to finalize the constrictor rule-making in the Summer of 2013. Known as the “Constrictor Rule”, this regulatory effort by FWS was initiated in 2008, and finalized in part in January 2012. The partially finalized rule added Burmese pythons and three other constrictor snakes to the Injurious Wildlife list of the Lacey Act. Five other constricting snakes, including Boa constrictor and reticulated python remain in regulatory limbo designated as “under consideration.” The scientific and economic argument made by FWS to list the four constrictors was widely regarded as suspect. There is no science regarding the remaining five. The Herp Alliance calls on FWS to release the five remaining constrictors from further consideration.

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Andrew Wyatt, CEO US Herpetoculture Alliance

In April Herp Alliance CEO, Andrew Wyatt filed a request for regulatory review with the White House Office of Management and Budget based on a “regulatory uncertainty” costing American herpetoculture hundreds of millions of dollars in what amounts to a de-facto listing. The Herp Alliance requested that FWS adhere to it’s own mandate of “retrospective review” and withdraw all five species from consideration for listing. For several months Wyatt has continued to be in close contact with staff of both the Senate Environmental & Public Works Committee and the US House Committee on Natural Resources, who have independently requested briefings on this issue from FWS. At this point the agency has not determined whether they will include additional species in the finalized rule, but have stated their intention is to finalize the rule this summer. It is likely given this Administration’s history on this issue that they will pursue additional species. Herp Alliance will provide updates as FWS makes decisions in this regard.

Please join the Herp Alliance and help us in the effort to shut down the FWS Constrictor Rule. We need your help to “Protect the Future of Herpetoculture!”

HR 2158: ‘‘Expedited Departure of Certain Snake Species Act’’

UPDATE: H. R. 2158 (Fleming) goes to Hearing at US House Natural Resources Committee- To exempt from the Lacey Act Amendments of 1981 the expedited removal from the United States of certain snake species, and for other purposes, “Expedited Departure of Certain Snake Species Act.”

WHEN: Thursday, July 25, 2013 – 10:00 AM

WHERE: 1324 Hearing Room in the Longworth House Office Building

***See below for background:

HR 2158: The ‘‘Expedited Departure of Certain Snake Species Act’’ was introduced into the US House of Representatives by Representative John Flemming (R-LA4) on May 23, 2013. It was assigned to the US House Committee on Natural Resources.

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HR 2158: ‘‘Expedited Departure of Certain Snake Species Act’’

HR 2158 would allow for greater flexibility in the export of Burmese pythons (Python molurus bivittatus), Indian pythons (Python molurus molurus), Northern African pythons (Python sebae), Southern African pythons (Python natalensis) and Yellow anacondas (Eunectes notaeus) out of the United States.

Currently export may occur only through designated ports as defined by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).  When an aircraft departs with export from one of these ports, it may not land within the United States.

HR 2158 would continue to allow for export from 17 designated ports. In addition, it would allow such carriers to make  intermediate stops in other states prior to final departure within a 48 hour time period as long as secure containment protocols are maintained.  HR 2158 does not address interstate transport.

The US Herpetoculture Alliance supports HR 2158, and thanks Representative Flemming for addressing this important issue, and while we believe this is an important issue, we do have concerns regarding the timing and strategy leading to the bill’s introduction.  With the questions of whether five additional species of constrictors will be added to the Injurious Wildlife List of the Lacey Act, as well as challenges to the four constrictors that were added in 2012 to be considered this summer, the issue of international export and interstate transport may become confused in the minds of lawmakers.

The Herp Alliance expects that HR 2158 will be referred to the US House Natural Resources Sub-Committee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs, of which Representative Flemming serves as Chairman. We believe there will be a hearing on the bill this Summer, possibly in the July time frame.  If passed, HR 2158 could allow breeders of Burmese pythons, African pythons and yellow anacondas an opportunity to engage in export outside of the US that is currently prohibited due to intermediate stops within the United States.

HR 2158 will NOT allow for interstate transport! It only allows an exemption for shipments to be exported outside of the United States.

The Year of the Snake at the Oregon Zoo

Photo by Michael Durham, courtesy of the Oregon Zoo.
Photo by Michael Durham, courtesy of the Oregon Zoo.

By Erika N. Chen-Walsh

The Oregon Zoo will be featuring its 15′ Burmese python, Bubba in the spotlight this month beginning on February 10, 2013 in celebration of the start of the Chinese Lunar New Year. According to Chinese astrology, this one will be the Year of the Snake, and the zoo will be offering free admission on February 10th as part of its celebration.

Visitors to the zoo Feb. 10 will have the opportunity to have an up-close encounter with a live snake, and learn more about conserving endangered Asian wildlife.

“Celebrating the Lunar New Year helps us bring attention to Asian animals that are imperiled, including snakes,” said Kim Smith, zoo director. “We want visitors to make a connection with the animals here — even the cold-blooded ones — so that they leave the zoo wanting to make the world a better place for wildlife.”

The snake is the sixth animal featured in the 12-year cycle of the Chinese zodiac and traditionally symbolizes intelligence and grace.

Burmese pythons, the vilified subject of Florida’s grisly Python Challenge, have generally docile dispositions and are native to tropical  jungles and grassy marshes of Southeast Asia.  Habitat depletion and hunting for their skins and flesh have landed these graceful giants on the threatened species list.

Florida Python Challenge: More Than 1,000 Hunters, 2 Full Weeks, Only 30 Snakes

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More than 1,000 people signed up to hunt Burmese pythons in the Florida Everglades, but just a fraction of them have been successful so far.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said Friday that 30 of the invasive snakes have been killed in the competition that began Jan. 12.

Wildlife officials say eradicating pythons from the Everglades was never the goal of the monthlong “Python Challenge.” Instead, they hoped to raise awareness about the snake’s threat to native wildlife and the fragile Everglades ecosystem. The snake faces both state and federal bans.

No one knows for sure how many pythons live in the Everglades. Researchers say the hunt is helping them collect more information about the pythons’ habits.

The competition ends Feb. 10.

Associated Press, January 25, 2013