An official website of the United States government.

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you've safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Burmese Python

Scientific Name

Python molurus bivittatus Kuhl, 1820 (ITIS)

Common Name

Burmese python

Native To

Southeast Asia (Harvey et al. 2016)

Date of U.S. Introduction

Established populations were first reported in 2000 (Harvey et al. 2016)

Means of Introduction

Imported to the U.S. for the pet trade; wild populations became established from animals that escaped or were intentionally released (Harvey et al. 2016)

Impact

Preys on native species, some of which are endangered (such as the Key Largo woodrat, Neotoma floridana smalli); may also compete with threatened native species, such as the indigo snake (Drymarchon couperi) (Harvey et al. 2016)

Current U.S. Distribution

South Florida

Burmese python in the grass

Burmese Python in the Everglades

Credit

Photo by National Park Service

Find more images

Spotlights

  • Governor Ron DeSantis Announces 2022 Florida Python Challenge

    • Jun 16, 2022
    • Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

    • Governor Ron DeSantis has announced that registration for the 2022 Florida Python Challenge has opened and the annual 10-day event will be held August 5-14, 2022. Members of the public are now able to take the required online training and register to compete to win thousands of dollars in prizes while removing invasive Burmese pythons from the wild. The competition is open to both professional and novice participants.

      Visit FLPythonChallenge.org to register for the competition, take the online training, register for optional in-person trainings, learn more about Burmese pythons and the unique Everglades ecosystem, and find resources for planning your trip to South Florida to participate in the Florida Python Challenge.

  • Florida FWC Approves Rule Changes to Help Protect Florida from 16 High-Risk Invasive Reptiles

    • Feb 25, 2021
    • Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

    • At its February 2021 meeting, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved staff recommendations to create new rules to address the importation, breeding and possession of high-risk invasive reptiles. The approved rule changes to Chapter 68-5, F.A.C. specifically address Burmese pythons, Argentine black and white tegus, green iguanas and 13 other high-risk nonnative snakes and lizards that pose a threat to Florida’s ecology, economy, and human health and safety. For more information, see New Rules for Invasive Nonnative Reptiles.

  • Python Patrol

    • Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

    • Python Patrol is a no-cost training program that aims to create a network of trained individuals throughout south Florida who know how to identify Burmese pythons, report sightings, and in some cases, capture and humanely kill the snakes. Python Patrol training is offered throughout south and southwest Florida.

Distribution / Maps / Survey Status

Federally Regulated

  • Injurious Wildlife Listings - Keeping Risky Wildlife Species Out of the United States

    • DOI. FWS. Fish and Aquatic Conservation.

    • Includes species listed as injurious wildlife under the Federal Lacey Act (18 USC 42), which makes it illegal to import injurious wildlife into the U.S. or transport between the listed jurisdictions in the shipment clause (the continental U.S., the District of Columbia, Hawaii, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and any possession of the U.S.) without a permit. An injurious wildlife listing would not prohibit intrastate transport or possession of that species within a State where those activities are not prohibited by the State. Preventing the introduction of new harmful species is the only way to fully avoid impacts of injurious species on local, regional, and national economies and infrastructure, and on the natural resources of the U.S.

      Injurious wildlife are wild mammals, wild birds, amphibians, reptiles, fishes, crustaceans, mollusks and their offspring or eggs that are injurious to the interests of human beings, agriculture, horticulture, forestry, wildlife or wildlife resources of the U.S. Plants and organisms other than those stated above cannot be listed as injurious wildlife. For more information, see What Are Injurious Wildlife: A Summary of the Injurious Provisions of the Lacey Act and Summary of Species Currently Listed as Injurious Wildlife.

Videos

Selected Resources

The section below contains highly relevant resources for this species, organized by source.

Partnership
Federal Government
State and Local Government
  • Halt the Burmese Python [PDF | 323 KB]

    • Mar 2012
    • Collier Soil and Water Conservation District (Florida).

  • Burmese Pythons in Florida

    • Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

  • Python Elimination Program

    • South Florida Water Management District.

    • The South Florida Water Management District Governing Board is taking aggressive action to protect the Everglades and eliminate invasive pythons from its public lands. Starting in March 2017, the Python Elimination Program incentivizes a limited number of public-spirited individuals to humanely euthanize these destructive snakes, which have become an apex predator in the Everglades. The program provides access to python removal agents on designated SFWMD lands in Miami-Dade, Broward, Collier, Hendry and Palm Beach counties.

Academic
Professional
Citations