Animal conservationists said on May 6 that an island in Spain has invited world experts to help them stop the proliferation of albino pythons that threaten many rare animals in the world Island.
Rangers on Gran Canaria – the largest island in the Canary Islands of Spain, have destroyed thousands of Californian Kingsnakes albino pythons. These pythons were originally kept as pets by people, but later spilled into the wild.
Environmental expert Ramon Gallo – who is leading the python population control project – said that although not threatening to human life, king pythons are omnivores, including rare animals on the island such as : Gran Canaria giant lizards and precious birds, even eating local rabbits.
With a mild climate, cool temperatures on the island of Gran Canaria, albino pythons multiply rapidly. Over the past eight years, more than 2,000 have been caught, but experts say thousands more live underground.
A recent statistic shows that the ratio of lizards and pythons in the area is at an alarming 1:10. “This is very worrying, pythons could make lizards extinct,” Mr Gallo said. King pythons have many different coat colors, but pythons on the island of Gran Canaria are mainly albino: white skin with light yellow stripes, pink eyes.
More than 70% of people are still very afraid and do not like this python species due to the strong fishy-smelling liquid that they secrete when threatened. Many people say they see pythons everywhere: In the house, on the porch and even in the back garden.
Many birders woke up to find the king python hovering in the cage. Even more worrying, they say, is that the average size of albino pythons is increasing.
“In the past, they used to be long and thin, about 1.5 meters, but in recent years we’ve noticed they’re a bit larger.” This week’s invite of experts is part of a
four-year project aimed at eradicating half of the island’s pythons.
The project also includes dog and hawk training, python traps and 200 workshops to train locals in the knowledge of king pythons. One of the challenges of the project was determining how many pythons to kill on the island because the reptile spends a lot of time in burrows, bushes, underground.
Another difficulty is that the majority of pythons on the island are albino pythons, a common pet species but rare in wildlife populations because of their ease of detection by other predators. The reason albino pythons dominate the island is because there are very few carnivores here.