Economic Importance for Humans: Positive
The economic importance of ball pythons to rural communities of central and western Afria is the control of rodents. The magnitude of this benefit is in the millions of dollars per year. Even though ball pythons are exported, there is little direct economic benefit to rural communities except the economic impact of providing lodging and food for trappers. There are some areas where ball pythons are considered sacred and are fully protected. In these areas there seems to be an awareness of the benefits of these pythons. Although ball pythons can be bred in captivity, most are imported from Africa. Approximately 30,000 to 50,000 ball pythons are exported annually to America, mostly as hatchlings from wild pythons. Ball pythons are easily handled snakes, which is what makes them good pets. Trappers of ball pythons tend to be economically vulnerable, which drives them towards trapping these snakes for export. Ball pythons are also occasionally eaten.
Positive Impacts: pet trade ; controls pest population
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