Researchers involved in a unique wildlife project are flying drones in an effort to track invasive Burmese pythons that are infesting the Everglades and other natural areas of Florida.
The work has paired Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) and Warren County Community College in northern New Jersey in the plan to fly drones as a potentially more effective manner of identifying Burmese pythons in the wild. Though it’s not known how many of the snakes have flourished in Florida’s natural areas, experts say there may be as many of 300,000 now.
The average individual measures about 10 feet in length, biologists say, with larger specimen growing up to 18 feet long. The reptiles first turned up in Florida’s trees and within water systems in the 1990s, after some of the snakes imported from Southeast Asia for sale as pets either escaped or were released by owners.
Professors and students from ERAU and Warren have been testing different kinds of…