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Salazar Moves to Ban Importation and Interstate Transfer of Burmese Python and Eight Other Giant Invasive Snakes


January 20, 2010

 Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will propose to list the Burmese python and eight other large constrictor snakes that threaten the Everglades and other sensitive ecosystems as “injurious wildlife” under the Lacey Act.

Salazar made the announcement at the Port of New York, which serves as the largest point of entry in the nation for imports of wildlife and wildlife products. Last year, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Inspectors at John F. Kennedy International Airport handled more than 27, 000 separate wildlife shipments valued at more than $1 billion, or 16 percent of all U.S. wildlife imports.

The proposal, which will be open to public comment before Salazar makes a final decision, would prohibit importation and interstate transportation of the animals.


  • Secretary Salazar and FWS Director Sam Hamilton help Supervisory Wildlife Inspector Robert Onda handle a big Boa Constrictor.
    Left to right are Secretary Salazar, Regional Agent in Charge William Anderson, FWS Director Hamilton and Inspector Onda Tami A. Heilemann - DOI
    Secretary Salazar and FWS Director Sam Hamilton help Supervisory Wildlife Inspector Robert Onda handle a big Boa Constrictor.
  • Secretary Salazar and FWS Director Hamilton get a tour of the Port of New York, JFK International Airport from Kyla Hastie, Assistant Regional Director for External Affairs. Tami A. Heilemann-DOI
    Secretary Salazar and FWS Director Hamilton get a tour of the inspection facility at the Port of New York, JFK International Airport from Kyla Hastie, Assistant Regional Director for External Affairs
  • DHS Officer John Saleh displays counterfeit items that have been confiscated at the port.  Left to right are FWS Director Hamilton, Secretary Salazar and Officer Saleh. Tami A. Heilemann-DOI
    DHS Officer John Saleh displays counterfeit items that have been confiscated at the port.  Left to right are FWS Director Hamilton, Secretary Salazar and Officer Saleh.
  • Secretary Salazar made his announcement next to a display showing how large boa constrictors and pythons can grow. Tami A. Heilemann-DOI
    Secretary Salazar made his announcement next to a display showing how large boa constrictors and pythons can grow.
  • Secretary Salazar called the inspectors at the Fish and Wildlife Animal Import Center our country’s first line of defense against invasive species. Tami A. Heilemann-DOI
    Secretary Salazar at the Port of New York, JFK International Airport.
  • Secretary Salazar and FWS Director Sam Hamilton help Supervisory Wildlife Inspector Robert Onda handle a big Boa Constrictor.
  • Secretary Salazar and FWS Director Hamilton get a tour of the inspection facility at the Port of New York, JFK International Airport from Kyla Hastie, Assistant Regional Director for External Affairs
  • DHS Officer John Saleh displays counterfeit items that have been confiscated at the port.  Left to right are FWS Director Hamilton, Secretary Salazar and Officer Saleh.
  • Secretary Salazar made his announcement next to a display showing how large boa constrictors and pythons can grow.
  • Secretary Salazar at the Port of New York, JFK International Airport.