|Tracking pythons : the quest to catch an invasive predator and save an ecosystem|
Author: Messner, Kate
Burmese pythons, native to Southeast Asia, started showing up in Florida in 1979. Pet pythons that escaped or were released by their owners started breeding in the wild, and now a group of scientists is tracking Burmese pythons to find ways to stop their spread.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 7.40
Points: 3.0 Quiz: 510026
Kirkus Reviews (+) (01/01/20)
School Library Journal (03/01/20)
The Hornbook (00/05/20)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 03/01/2020 Gr 4–8—Ever dreamed of wading through bushes and vines in search of an 11-foot snake, specifically a Burmese python? This book takes readers into the thick of South Florida's fragile ecosystem and follows scientists on their mission to study and help control the population of this invasive species. It is predicted that as many as 300,000 of these snakes live in the wild, where they are wreaking havoc on the native population. Messner has collected wonderful diagrams and photographs to help illustrate the importance of the work of these scientists. The layout provides sidebars that discuss topics such as a python's body structure, how the scientists' tracking system works, and "How to Catch a Python." The book is broken into seven chapters. Each focuses on a particular aspect of the scientists' process and research methods. One series of photographs shows a snake and its last meal—a full-size deer. An extensive bibliography and suggested further reading are included. VERDICT Messner's well-written and -documented book will fascinate any nature lover, but younger readers who love snakes will be thrilled.—Erin Olsen, Hunter College Elementary School, NY - Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 03/01/2020 As Burmese pythons thrive in south Florida, they decimate native wildlife and disrupt the natural ecosystem. Scientists speculate that this invasive species was introduced by pet owners who no longer wanted or could care for these snakes. Florida’s climate, swamps, and plentiful food provide the perfect breeding ground for the pythons, whose numbers have become a staggering, unmanageable problem. Veteran children’s author Messner was curious to learn more about the python problem and what was being done to control their growing numbers. In this photo-rich examination, she heads to the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, where researchers are busy locating pythons (easier said than done), inserting transmitters in male snakes, euthanizing females and small snakes, and destroying eggs when they find them. She accompanies python project manager Ian Bartoszek and his crew on their daily treks into the swamps and observes their work in the lab. Messner’s compelling photo-essay gives an inside look at the researchers’ hot, dirty, grueling (and often frustrating) work and offers an extensive bibliography for further research. - Copyright 2020 Booklist.