(WSVN) - Burmese pythons have decimated ecosystems in South Florida for decades, but now researchers at the University of Florida (UF) have come up with a sneaky solution to the problem.

Melissa Miller is the project lead and research assistant scientist in the major python project to combat the problem.

“Burmese pythons are having huge impacts on the everglades ecosystem,” she said.

The project’s leader is an invasive species specialist at the UF and she said the python’s impacts are not only huge but also destructive.

“They’ve caused mammal declines in our native mammal populations, they have introduced parasites and pathogens that are getting into native snakes,” said Miller.

The university launched the scouting program to study and eventually eliminate the reptiles in the Everglades and the way they’re going about it is by turning previously captured adult snakes into trackers.

“We would take the Burmese pythons, we implant them with two receivers, which are tracking devices, and then we release those snakes into the environment,” said Miller.

The implanted pythons then lead researchers to other snakes and since many of the snakes are gathering for mating season, researchers are using their sex drive to lead to their ultimate demise.

“You’ll often get multiple males aggregating around a female that’s reproductive and giving off the sex pheromones so when you track those the chance of maximizing your removal and getting multiple snakes removed, in particular these large very reproductive females,” said Miller.

The data scientists are collecting from the snakes helps them to understand how and when the pythons are using specific habitats which helps researchers form targeted removals.

Miller also said that studying the female pythons’ reproductive biology allows them to find out how many eggs she produces, where she likes to nest and how many of them survive, which helps them to estimate how many pythons are actually out there.

The team is now tracking eight adult pythons, and it’s off to a great start.

“We’ve also gotten our first snake associated with one of our track snakes as well so which is pretty cool because we just started the project not too long ago,” said Miller.

Now researchers are hoping it will lead to the protection of the Everglades.

The research started in November and is scheduled to run for five years.

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