Registration Opens for Annual Florida Python Challenge

Registration Opens for Annual Florida Python Challenge

MIAMI (AP) — Registration opened Wednesday for the 2023 Florida Python Challenge, giving individuals an opportunity to win a share of greater than $30,000 in prizes whereas eradicating invasive Burmese pythons from the wild.

The 10-day competition runs Aug. 4–13 and is open to each skilled and novice snake hunters. A grand prize of $10,000 goes to the participant who removes probably the most pythons, plus smaller prizes for extra classes.

“There is nowhere on the earth like America’s Everglades, and we have to proceed to guard and restore this nationwide treasure,” South Florida Water Management District Governing Board Member “Alligator Ron” Bergeron mentioned in a press release. “Removing invasive pythons from throughout the Greater Everglades Ecosystem is totally essential, and we should do all the pieces we will to fight this invasive species.”

Participants in final yr’s competitors eliminated 231 invasive Burmese pythons from the Everglades, a rise from the 2021 quantity and greater than double these eliminated in 2020. Nearly 1,000 individuals from 32 states, Canada and Latvia registered.

Besides year-round python removing alternatives on 25 state-managed lands, pythons might be humanely killed on personal lands at any time with landowner permission. No allow or looking license is required, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission encourages individuals to take away and humanely kill pythons from personal lands each time doable.

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Burmese pythons aren’t native to Florida, and so they negatively impression native wildlife, officers mentioned. This invasive species is discovered primarily in and across the Everglades ecosystem in South Florida, the place they prey on birds, mammals, and different reptiles. A feminine Burmese python could lay 50 to 100 eggs at a time. Since 2000, greater than 18,000 Burmese pythons have been reported to the FWC as faraway from the setting.

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