they fill a niche left by extirpated and removed species
Which extirpated and removed specie ate aligators? Dinosaurs?
You also never hear of the dozens of other invasive alien species in florida, such as; iguanas, veiled chameleons, cuban knight anoles, nile monitors, feral cats, walking catfish, gambian pouched rats, and even monkeys
The 2 1/2' long rats that cats are scared of was only covered by AP, Fox News, USA today and every paper in Florida for a short period of time. If Hollywood had started a series like "Dancing with the Rats" everyone would know about it.
However, if anyone, and I mean anyone had put a $1,000 bounty on each one them, when the Pet Rat Raising genius entrepaneur on Grassy Key let the first 8 go after realizing that pet rat owners didn't want to have 6 foot cages in their living rooms for one rat - there would be none down here now, and the problem would have been solved for $8,000.
And it's still not too late - but government is involved. Fl. Fish and Wildlife eventually put together a "rat eradication task force" which worked for who knows how long, costing who knows how much - and they are still here. If anyone were to put a $250 bounty on each of them now, while they still may be limited to the Keys, one million dollars (about the cost of a single residential building lot in several towns in CT) would take care of 4,000 of the "estimated" 100 of them still left. If the estimate is correct – they could give each rat catcher a retroactive $250 bonus per rat and still get rid of them for the cost of one Lexus and donate the balance to the Python bounty.
Now for the cost of 10 nice homes in Greenwich, New Caanan or Darien, a bounty of $200/python and $50 per python egg that had been already laid and videoed in the field, would result in funds for a minumum of 250,000 pythons if not even one egg were turned in.
The rest of the invasive species, like lion fish, would best be handled in the same manner - just like the pike minnow which only pays 4-$8 per fish.
2012 Northern Pikeminnow Sport Reward Fishery: Program Information
BPA funds the program to partially mitigate for the impact of the Columbia River hydroelectric system on salmon. Results indicate the program is successful. Since 1990, over 3.9 million northern pikeminnow have been removed by the Sport Reward Fishery. Predation on juvenile salmonids has been cut by an estimated 40%.
Now that the Everglades, Yellowstone, Yosmite and so many other parks are under United Nations jurisdiction by international treaty, I don’t think we have to worry about shopping malls in them – so long as US Citizens are still permitted to visit them. Shopping Malls are visable. The UN desiginated Yellowstone an “Endangered Biosphere” years ago, for instance, and UN Inspectors designated the surrounding area a “Buffer Zone. Then, in collusion with Clinton, shut down a mine OUTSIDE the park, and the US Taxpayer footed the bill to pay the mining company.
I agree with you that pollution (along with commercial fishing) are the major problems we face in fishing, but invasive species are relatively easy to deal with by comparrison, and both pyhons and lionfish are much easier to control than our umbrella korporate government, which pervades all aspects of our life even down to our front lawns.. To combat this can take a lot of time and can result in a lot of enemies.
For instance, I live in a place with a “Homeowners Association”. The bylaws state that I must water and fertilize my lawn and keep it free of cinch bugs or face fines and or Liens against my property. I told the board of directing Nazis that I refused to fertilize, water or poison my lawn, and that my well trimmed creeping charlie and weeds were as green as their lawns, don’t requlire anything but rain water, and that cinch bugs don’t eat weeds or creeping charlie.
So just take me to court, because I won't pay your fines. And we’ll see if the judge orders me to poison the ocean flood plain my stilt house is on 30 yds from the flat that only 14 years ago was still alive with bonefish and all manner of flats life. I’ve not had any trouble over the issue since and "The Board" avoids me whenever possible.
In 1990 or so, I spent two weeks writing an article about the complete devastation – the total death - of thousands and thousands of acres of turtle grass, and the total defoliation of all mangrove trees within that area of Florida Bay. I interviewed, by phone, 3 people from the Everglades Park Service.and was given total bullshit that a brain dead orangutang wouldn’t have bellieved.
Unfortuntely, I was stupid, and didn’t try to contact and enlist the aid of Marjorie Stoneman Douglas first, not realizing that even at 100 years old in 1990, she still had huge political juice and still possessed a razor sharp mind – right up until shortly before her death 8 years later. I have no idea, being a nobody, if I could have even gotten a message to her, but I should have thought of trying.
The article was not published by Field and Steam – being a scathing indictment of the Parks Service. Instead, it was returned, then several months later an article appeared in that publication on the devastation written by a contributing editor who basically parroted the Park Service’s unsubstantiated “theories” – none of which were based on actual chemical water samples taken from Taylor Slough where the death plague originated. Taylor Slough is the main eastern outlet into Fl. Bay from the “River of Grass”. It is now “Closed to the public to “Protect Wildlife Habitat”. That is the term used by the Park Service instead of “National Security “ . Everglades National Park Boating Page
The report published by the Park Service chief about the wave of death reads like a script from “Ancient Aliens”. “Is it possible?” “Could there be a connection between simultaneous total defoliation of mangroves and the total death of miles and square miles of turtle grass? ‘In Puerto Rico …” It’s ****ing sickening.
So, though I agree with you about pollution, and try to combat it and wake others up to it when possible. I feel the same as you; that organizations like that “Bonefish and Tarpon” outfit are generally worse than useless in that they suck money into tagging fish and “reseach” that is totally immaterial to the real problem. I’ve fished the Glades and The Keys since the early 50’s and have seen the incredibly massive damage caused by pollution – the majority of it by korporate agribusiness, but not all, by any means.
But pythons, 2 foot rats, lionfish, pike minnows and the like are also real threats to the environment and can be controlled by ordinary citizens very cheaply if we are “allowed” to do so in the land of the free.
Sorry for long rant.
Maybe I should move down there and start a boot making company.
Dan, I just checked for pytho skins on the internet. $225 for one 9 feet long. Tim Borski has been killing them up there for several years now. I'll find out how he got his permit and see about getting one. You can make boots, hat bands, belts in your garage and I'll supply you with the skins. Check out the potential for Rat Fur coats while you're at it.