Tracking Pythons

The Quest to Catch an Invasive Predator and Save an Ecosystem

  • Interest Level: Grade 4 - Grade 8
  • Reading Level: Grade 5

Burmese pythons are invading Florida.

These enormous snakes are native to Southeast Asia, so when one showed up dead along the side of a Florida highway in 1979, scientists wondered where it came from. No one knew the snakes had launched a full-scale invasion. Pet pythons that escaped or were released by their owners started breeding in the wild, and these enormous predators began eating every animal in their path.

Today a group of scientists at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida is tracking Burmese pythons to find ways to stop their spread. Page Plus QR code links lead to video clips and photos of the scientists working in the field. Delve into the science of pythons and their role as invasive predators.

“[A] fascinating example of field biology . . . Who knew that snake science could be so adventurous?”—starred, Kirkus Reviews

Format Your Price Add
Available at all major wholesalers and distributors. Save 25% when you buy direct!
Interest Level Grade 4 - Grade 8
Reading Level Grade 5
Genre Science
Category 5 Kinds of Nonfiction, 5KN: Narrative Nonfiction, Animals, STEM, STEM: Life Science/Animals
Copyright 2020
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Millbrook Press ™
Language English
Number of Pages 64
Publication Date 2020-03-03
Text Type Narrative Nonfiction
BISACS JNF003190, JNF037020, JNF003270
Dewey 597.96/7809759
Graphics Full-color illustrations
Dimensions 10.625 x 8.875
Lexile 1110
Guided Reading Level W
Features Author/Illustrator biography, Author/Illustrator note, Awards, Bibliography/further reading, Glossary, Index, Maps, Page Plus™, Photo captions, Primary source quotations/images, Reviewed, Source notes, and Starred Reviews

Author: Kate Messner

Kate Messner is passionately curious and writes books that encourage kids to wonder, too. Her titles include award-winning picture books, easy readers, chapter books, nonfiction, and novels. A former teacher, Kate lives in upstate New York with her family and is trying to summit all 46 Adirondack High Peaks in between book deadlines.


  • Maine Student Book Award Shortlist, Short-listed, 2021
  • Green Earth Book Award, Long-listed, 2021


The Horn Book Magazine

“[A] nod to the affection and respect the researchers have for these reptiles . . .”—The Horn Book Magazine


“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.”—Booklist

Kirkus Reviews

“[A] fascinating example of field biology . . .”—starred, Kirkus Reviews