FLORIDA EVERGLADES, Fla. - The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) reported on Wednesday that 223 Burmese pythons have been removed from the Everglades ecosystem after a competition to remove them.
They said that the two longest pythons removed were over 15 feet long.
Over 600 people registered for the ten-day competition to remove the invasive constrictors. One hunter, who was actually said to be a novice, reportedly earned the $10,000 Ultimate Grand Prize for removing 41 pythons. They also removed python nests to prevent them from dispersing, breeding, and preying on native wildlife.
"Everglades restoration and the protection of water resources has been a top priority of my administration since day one. Invasive Burmese pythons have wreaked havoc in the Everglades, negatively impacting the ecosystem and biodiversity. At my direction, FWC and the South Florida Water Management District have taken steps to increase python removal efforts, and the unprecedented success of the 2021 Florida Python Challenge® is a great example of the progress Florida has made battling these invasive species. Removing more than 200 Burmese pythons is a victory for our state as well as for the native animals that live here," said Governor Ron DeSantis.
"Thanks to the leadership of Governor Ron DeSantis, we have made great progress in removing invasive pythons from the Everglades ecosystem! Removing more than 100 recently hatched pythons from the wild has stopped these snakes before they could disperse and cause future impacts to our native wildlife. That’s a great accomplishment with exponential benefits!" said FWC Chairman Rodney Barreto.
"The fact that the Ultimate Grand Prize Winner is a novice and not a professional python hunter demonstrates that, with the right training and education, even beginners can make a difference in removing Burmese pythons. We thank Governor Ron DeSantis for his leadership, inspiring people from all over the country to get involved with this effort." said Chauncey Goss, Chairman of the South Florida Water Management District Governing Board.
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