Trying to Control Population, Burmese Python Hunters Wanted in Florida

Thursday, 13 Dec 2012 07:35 PM

By Michael Mullins

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
    A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Attempting to control an ever-expanding population of Burmese pythons, Florida is issuing special temporary permits to snake hunters and offering cash prizes for the most pythons killed or captured and the longest python.

The pilot program to capture and kill the species invading the Everglades begins Jan. 12. Whoever kills or captures the most in 30 days gets a $1,500 grand prize, while the person who gets the longest one will receive $1,000.

Before you rush to apply for a permit, consider that the longest python recorded captured in the Everglades weighed a whopping 164 pounds and was nearly 18 feet long, according to the University of Florida. The massive snake was carrying 87 eggs at the time of her capture, giving an idea of why there are so many.

The python hunt is being promoted by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission which will be responsible for doling out the prize money next year. Participants must pay a $25 registration fee and kill or capture the reptiles in a humane manner.

Florida’s Burmese python population, which some experts estimate to be in the hundreds of thousands, has devastated Florida’s ecosystem since being introduced there in 1979.

The python is just one of some 500-plus invasive species that have been introduced to the Sunshine State since the arrival of Europeans in the 16th century. There are more invasive animal species in Florida than anywhere else in the world, according to the United States Geological Survey.

In addition to the python, one of Florida’s more dangerous new predators is the Nile Crocodile – not to be confused with the state’s saltwater crocs – which is responsible for hundreds of attacks on people each year.

“Either someone is breeding and releasing them or they’re escaping. We simply don’t know,” said Wildlife biologist Joe Wasilewski in Florida’s

Humans aren’t the only ones at risk from the predatory species. According to published reports, raccoon and possum sightings have decreased by 99 percent in recent decades. Also, migrating “snow birds” might have a rude awakening when they run across an unfamiliar predatory species new to their habitat.

Many non-native species that have made Florida’s warm habitat their home in recent decades were originally pets that were released into the wild by irresponsible residents.

According to the USGS, more than $100 billion in damage is caused annually to the U.S. economy by the nation’s more than 6,500 harmful non-native species.

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
  Copy Shortlink
Send me more news as it happens.
Get me on The Wire
Send me more news as it happens.
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
You May Also Like

Cambodia HIV Outbreak: 100-Plus People Diagnosed; Investigation Sought

Friday, 19 Dec 2014 18:50 PM

More than 100 HIV infections in a single Cambodian village have spurred the country's prime minister to ask for an inves . . .

Slender Man Case: Two Girls Competent to Stand Trial in Stabbing

Friday, 19 Dec 2014 18:26 PM

Two girls who allegedly stabbed a 12-year-old friend over the online game Slender Man are competent to stand trial for a . . .

Kate Upton Sexiest Woman Alive; Model Apologizes to Teen Brother

Friday, 19 Dec 2014 17:52 PM

Model Kate Upton was selected as People magazine's first Sexiest Woman Alive, a month after Chris Hemsworth received the . . .

Top Stories

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved