My friend Gregory Morris took me python hunting deep in the everglades last summer. I learned a lot about the Everglades and the threats to the diverse ecosystem.
Gregory is an official python hunter paid by Florida to catch and then kill pythons that are decimating the Everglades habitat. This is an important job if we want to preserve our most diverse ecosystem in America.
Greg was out python hunting a couple of days ago and came across a rare invasive species many do not know is affecting the Everglades. This chameleon is believed by many to be the blue panther chameleon. It is most likely roaming the everglades because it was a pet at some point. These chameleons are hard to take care of and most likely were let go.
While it is easy to understand the threat invasive pythons place on the Everglades, chameleons seem to be harmless. The problem is not so much that they will eat other lizards that are native, but that they will eat a lot of the food those lizards are looking for.
We should take two lessons from this. First, do not let animals go when you are unable to take care of them. People doing this has decimated habitats all over the world. The second thing to take away from this is to remember that people worldwide work hard to protect our natural habitats.
here are some more pictures of the blue panther chameleon that help show their wide range of colors.