Scientist adjusts mobile telemetry equipment in field for Burmese python research in Southern Florida

Advanced RATT Towers Enhance USFWS Efforts in Tracking Invasive Burmese Pythons

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the United States Geological Survey (USGS) deploy multiple 30’ Hitch-Mounted RATT portable towers to speed up monitoring and data collection of the invasive Burmese python population via radio telemetry. 

Scientists from Fort Collins Research Center, WARC (Wetland and Aquatic Research Center), and the University of Florida have joined forces for an extensive research initiative focused on invasive Burmese pythons in Southern Florida. Researchers are gathering information about the life cycle of Burmese pythons, specifically “age-specific survival rates, sex ratios, age at maturity, reproductive output and frequency, population growth rates and dispersal,” (Fort Collins Science Center). Scientists hope to use the data collected to inform control and removal efforts. 

Researchers capture Burmese pythons and attach small radio transmitters to them. These transmitters then emit radio signals at regular intervals. Once the transmitters are attached, researchers use radio receivers to detect the signals emitted by the transmitters. They typically conduct systematic searches in areas where pythons are known to inhabit, listening for the signals. 

The addition of The RATT quick-deploy towers has expanded the scope and precision of the tracking studies, allowing researchers to monitor animals over a larger geographic area and collect more data in more places.

The data collected through radio telemetry helps inform management strategies for controlling Burmese python populations. By understanding their movements and habitat use, authorities can target control efforts more effectively, such as implementing trapping programs in areas with high python activity.  

Radio telemetry provides valuable insights into the behavior and ecology of Burmese pythons in South Florida, aiding efforts to mitigate their impacts on native ecosystems and species.

You can read more about the coordinated Burmese python research at the websites linked below.

USFWS and USGS utilize mobile telemetry tower on truck for expansive python research
Deployed RATT portable antenna in Florida for tracking invasive Burmese pythons
Hitch-mounted RATT portable tower by USFWS and USGS for python monitoring in Florida's wilderness
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