Monday, November 20, 2006

Exotic Florida

As most birders know, Florida is a hotbed of exotic bird species. Red-whiskered Bulbul, Spot-breasted Oriole, several species of Myna, and a buttload of parrots and parakeets add to Florida's already diverse tropical fauna. In addition to these exotic birds, there are 31 exotic mammals, 48 exotic reptiles, and 4 exotic amphibians recorded in Florida. Florida Fish & Wildlife has a complete list of all exotics and descriptions of their status.

While these exotic critters may give pleasure to birders and wildlife watchers, many are a threat to the Florida ecosystem. Among the newsmakers, the Everglades has a huge (no pun intended) problem with giant pythons that are released because their owners underestimate the size that these things get to. The authorities are doing their best to control populations and to find ways to track escaped and released pets through the use of microchips implanted in the animals. I'm not sure if you can put a microchip on a red-rumped tarantula though.

2 comments:

Susan Gets Native said...

"A buttload"....
LOL! I have never heard anyone else, other than my friends and me use that one!
Why in the heck would anyone WANT a python or tarantula anyway???? Those people scare me.

Patrick Belardo said...

"Buttload"... it's a technical term. :)

People have crazy pets. My dad's friend raises hissing cockroaches and sells them as pets.