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They are changing the balance of the parks food chain confirming what the biologist has earlier suspected.
Two years ago, the python population significantly climbed in the park and the population of smaller mammals declined, but the researches could not prove the interrelation between the two.
The new study proves that 26 rabbits were eaten by the Burmese pythons. These rabbits were closely monitors by the researches; they were fitted with tracking devices and were let loose in the park.
According to a biologist Robert McCleery from University of Florida, rabbits breed fast and they were good survivors. But as the temperature raised rabbits population started to decline.
Pythons were eating rabbits at a faster rate as the temperature climbed and faster than the rabbits could reproduce.
McCleery says “None of us would have predicted that 77 percent of the rabbits would be eaten by pythons,”
McCleery is not saying that pythons are the reason behind the decline of the rabbits, she further added that they would like to be sure before pointing out that this is the real problem
United States Geological Survey biologist Brian Falk said “We saw a 90 to 95 percent decline in raccoon’s and possums, that made people think, uh-oh, pythons are eating their way through the park”
The study’s result was released in 2012 and from then the debates whether there are other things to address the problem were raised.
According to some expert changing water levels in the park could have driven the mammals away.