Invasive Pythons Have Overtaken Florida – This Is How It’s Being Fixed

MyFWC Florida Fish and Wildlife / Facebook

At 5pm on August 5th, the Florida Python Challenge kicked off with more than 800 people signing up to compete in removing the state’s most invasive species, the Burmese python.

“Some reptiles, like the invasive Burmese python, do not belong in this ecosystem and pose a threat to native wildlife. The Florida Python Challenge® is an exciting conservation effort which helps protect the rare Everglades habitat and the animals that live there from these invasive, nonnative snakes,” Florida Python Challenge wrote on their website.

The competition will last for a solid 10 days ending at 5pm on August 14 (2022) with two categories, professional and novice, taking home the big cash prize of $2,500 for collecting the most pythons.

There are additional prizes that can be won in each category for those who capture the longest python. Officials say that each python must be dead with hunters facing disqualification if they kill them inhumanely or if they kill one of the state’s native snakes.

Officials gathered in Miami to kick off the annual event saying that since the year 2000, more than 17,000 pythons have successfully been removed from the Everglades ecosystem.

“This is significant because every python removed is one less invasive species preying on our native birds, mammals and reptiles,” said Florida First Lady Casey DeSantis, according to Now This News.

A female Burmese python can lay as many as 100 eggs per year so you can easily see how the state’s ecosystem got quickly overwhelmed by the reptiles.

The state says that hunters from more than 32 other states have joined in on the challenge, including folks from Canada. To join, each hunter has to pay $25 to register for the event, get accepted, and complete an online training course.

More On The Python Hunt In The Video Below