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Burmese Python

Measure Targeting Invasive Species Signed

Mar 27, 2018

Gov. Rick Scott has signed a bill aimed at reducing the number of pythons and other invasive species that cause damage in parts of the state, including the Everglades.

The bill (SB 168), which Scott signed Friday after it was unanimously approved this month by the Legislature, sets up a pilot program targeting pythons and species such as tegu lizards and lionfish.

Under the program, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will be able to enter contracts with people to capture or destroy the species on public lands and in state waters.

State Program Records 500th Python Kill

Aug 18, 2017

With the state trying to reduce invasive species in areas such as the Everglades, a hunter Thursday killed the 500th Burmese python in less than five months under a South Florida Water Management District program.

Florida wildlife officials are launching a couple new programs to encourage people to help remove Burmese pythons—one of Florida’s nonnative species.

A state-sanctioned hunt on public lands for invasive Burmese pythons ended this weekend.

61 Pythons Bagged So Far In Challenge

Jan 28, 2016

Florida wildlife officials say 61 Burmese pythons have been caught so far in a state-sanctioned hunt.

AP

Officials say so far, 17 Burmese pythons have been caught during the hunt for the invasive species in Florida's wetlands.

The South Florida Sun Sentinel reports the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission announced the tally Tuesday.

Snake-hunters take note: Authorities are expanding Florida's next public hunt for invasive Burmese pythons into Everglades National Park.

An environmental advocacy group has a message for locals about the Burmese python. These non-native, invasive snakes are changing the ecosystem within the everglades. And the Conservancy of Southwest Florida says if you encounter one, do not kill it.  They’re asking you to report it through an app on your smartphone.

Florida wildlife officials are hosting another snake hunt, but they don't want to call it a hunt. It's the Python Challenge. It's not likely to put much of a dent on the growing population of the invasive species, but that doesn't mean the event will be a failure.

A public hunt for Burmese pythons in Florida's Everglades won't be repeated next year, a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokeswoman said Monday.

Instead, the state is beefing up established programs that train licensed hunters and people who regularly work in areas known to contain pythons to kill or report exotic snakes.

"Certainly our work is not done with pythons," said wildlife commission spokeswoman Carli Segelson.

With its pleasant climate, Florida has become home to more exotic and invasive species of plants and animals than any other state in the continental U.S. Some invasive species have been brought in deliberately, such as the Burmese python or the Cuban brown snail. But the majority of species are imported inadvertently as cargo.

Amanda Hodges, who heads the biosecurity research lab at the University of Florida, says that until recently, scientists saw about a dozen new bugs arrive in Florida each year.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Most drivers wouldn't do what Jason Leon did when he saw a large snake poking its head out of the brush beside the road: He pulled over, grabbed the snake and started pulling.

What he ended up with -- after a tussle and help from his friends -- was a record-setting giant Burmese python, as pictured on HuffPost Miami. 

Pat Lynch SFWMD

Ever want to hunt down a really big snake, or lots of them? 

That's the goal of the Python Challenge 2013, put on by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and its partners. 

That's because these behemoth snakes are wreaking havoc on the Everglades ecosystem by swallowing up rabbits, deer, and even alligators.

FWC is recruiting everyday people and python permit holders to capture and kill Burmese pythons in a month-long effort.

There are several exotic snake species that have become a problem in the Everglades. But for wildlife managers, the biggest headache is the Burmese python.

Earlier this year, researchers with the U.S. Geological Survey captured the largest Burmese python yet in Everglades National Park. Three USGS staffers had to wrestle the snake out of a plastic crate to measure it. The snake was a 17-foot-7-inch female carrying 87 eggs.

Wildlife managers are working to get a handle on the problem of exotic snakes in South Florida; but the snakes have already made a big impact.

She was about three feet longer than the distance from an NBA free throw line to the basket. She was a bit more than twice the height of many bedroom ceilings. You could park two Smart Cars beside her with a foot or so to spare.

Those are some ways to get a sense of just how big the biggest Burmese python discovered so far in Florida was.

A new study has some shocking news about wildlife in the Everglades. Raccoon and opossum sightings are down by 99 percent. Marsh rabbits and brown bunnies can’t be found at all. Sightings of bobcats, foxes and deer are also way down.

The culprit? Invasive species, like the Burmese Python. We discuss the impacts of invasive species with wildlife biologist Joe Guthrie as he hikes through the deepest, wildest parts of the Everglades.

You can see videos and photos of the expedition by clicking HERE.