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Python population expected to explode

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From the Herald-Tribune:

There could be more than 2,000 Burmese pythons ranging largely across south Sarasota County within three years unless steps are taken to control the growth of the huge snakes, says a New College of Florida professor.

Suggestions, though, that this latest scourge of Mother Nature could harm tourism may be a stretch. After all, this is a state known for alligator and shark attacks — not to mention hurricanes, mosquitoes and love bugs — and the tourists still come.

The predicted explosion in the local python population is being made by Meg Lowman, director of environmental initiatives at New College. Lowman ranked pythons as a bigger issue, at least in the near term, than climate change in a report to the county. She and New College are in the final year of a five-year, $250,000 contract to advise the county on science issues.

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