More Money, More Hunters: Florida Expands Its Python Elimination Program
OutdoorHub Reporters 09.23.19
Florida’s “Python Elimination Program” is expanding, and they need your help with eradicating this invasive predator threatening native Everglades species.
Thanks to Gov. Ron DeSantis, and a vote by the South Florida Water Management District Governing Board, this critical program will now see double the amount of hunters from years past. The board also voted last week to triple the program’s funding.
“This is for all of us who love the Everglades. We’re putting our money where our mouth is and taking the fight to these invasive pythons, now in a bigger way and across much more habitat,” said SFWMD Governing Board Chairman Chauncey Goss. “Gov. DeSantis loves the Everglades and directed us to leave no stone left unturned to eradicate this predator that threatens native Everglades species. That is exactly what we are going to do with our partners at FWC and Everglades National Park.”
The program has already successfully removed more than 2,540 snakes so far.
According to the SFWMD, the Python Elimination Program offers trained python contractors an hourly wage and a bounty based on the snake’s size to find and remove Burmese pythons from the Everglades. Burmese pythons are an invasive species not native to South Florida and have turned into a severe threat to Florida’s native ecosystems.
On top of approving more bodies to hunt these large snakes, the Governing Board also opened up access to more state and federal lands in South Florida for District python hunters to hunt on. Additionally, more work will be done alongside the University of Florida to run scientific research to help aid the python removal efforts.
“This is not individual agencies or entities with individual programs to remove pythons. This is one program with a diversified portfolio of assets and stakeholders to accomplish one mission,” said Eric Sutton, Executive Director of Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
To start earning checks in return for snakes, prospects must be at least 18-years-old, have all your identification in order and available to authorities and have no recent criminal history.