Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Python Challenge

Burmese pythons were first reported in Everglades National Park in 1979 and were assumed to be pets that reached the U.S. via the pet trade. Since then, the ravenous tropical snakes have thrived, reproducing at an alarming rate. As python populations have grown, many native species have plummeted as a result of predation by the new predators in town.

Photo courtesy of NPS

Florida, desperate to combat the python problem, has launched the Python Challenge, giving hunters free reign to kill pythons at will. Most people have a strong reaction, one way or another, to this "solution."

Learn more about it here:


Midwinter and Mangroves

Muddled in the midwinter chill, it's hard not to imagine a warmer place where one might shed sleeves and soak up some sun. 

I suppose that was the thought pattern that led me to investigate the mangroves of Venezuela. They are beautiful and mysterious, harboring all manner of flying, crawling, slithering, swimming wonders.

A brown pelican perches in a mangrove tree on Margarita Island, Venezuela.
Photo by Wilfredor / Wikimedia

Sadly, like so many regions, Venezuela's mangroves are threatened by pollution. Learn more about this magical, tropical place and how you can help preserve it for, at very least, the midwinter dreams of generations to come: