Burmese Pythons in Florida - South Dade News Leader: Sports

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Burmese Pythons in Florida

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Posted: Friday, December 28, 2018 12:15 pm

The Burmese python is a large nonvenomous constrictor that is an invasive species in Florida. Burmese pythons are found primarily in and around the Everglades ecosystem in south Florida where the snake represents a threat to native wildlife.

The FWC works with partners to manage Burmese pythons in a variety of ways. However, we encourage the public to get involved, too!

Removing Pythons in FloridaPythons can be humanely killed on private lands at any time with landowner permission - no permit required- and the 

FWC encourages people to remove and kill pythons from private lands whenever possible. Pythons may also be killed at any time throughout the year from 22 Wildlife Management Areas, Public Small Game Hunting Areas and Wildlife and Environmental Areas where pythons are known to exist. There is no bag limit and pythons may be humanely killed by any means other than traps or firearms (unless provided for by specific area regulations).

The FWC is working to make it easier for people to get involved by offering several programs that allow public participation in Burmese python removal and management efforts.

Win prizes for removing pythons! Remove and humanely kill pythons from private and participating public properties in Florida, and for each python submission you’ll have a chance to win valuable prizes! Anyone can participate!

The FWC’s Python Pickup Program is an incentive program designed to encourage the public to humanely kill Burmese pythons from the Everglades ecosystem and report locations to the FWC. People who submit proof of python with location of removal will be entered into the monthly prize drawing as well as a grand prize drawing in 2018.

Monthly prizes include snake hooks, custom engraved Yeti tumblers, Plano sportsman’s trunks, GoPro cameras and Badlands backpacks, and the grand prize is a Lifetime Sportsman’s License. Anyone can get involved!

Congratulations to Tom Rahill, who is the first Python Pickup grand prize winner! He submitted a burmese python that he removed in December. Tom won a Florida Lifetime Sportsman's License. The Python Pickup Program will continue into its second year, with new monthly prizes. The second grand prize drawing will be held in Ferbruary 2019.

You can submit pythons to the Python Pickup Program that have been killed from any property in Florida where you have authorization to do so from the land manager or land managing agency.

Private lands: Pythons can be killed on private lands at any time with landowner permission - no permit required - and the FWC encourages people to kill pythons on private lands whenever possible. Pythons must be humanely killed at the time and site of capture and may not be transported alive off of the private property without a permit from FWC.

Commission-managed lands: The FWC allows pythons and other nonnative reptiles to be humanely killed without a permit from 22 Commission-managed lands (listed below) except on those portions of the areas posted as “Closed to Public Access.” Pythons and other nonnative reptiles may be killed without a permit or hunting license at any time throughout the year, except by use of traps or firearms (unless provided for by specific area regulations) on the following Commission-managed Wildlife Management Areas, Public Small Game Hunting Areas (SGAs) and Wildlife and Environmental Areas. All other area-specific regulations apply. Do not enter areas posted as “Closed to Public Access."

Big Cypress National Preserve: Burmese pythons may be humanely killed in Big Cypress National Preserve during any established hunting season. A hunting license and Wildlife Management Area permit are required and rules for each hunting season must be followed (for example, use of bow and arrow only during archery season).

Everglades National Park: The FWC Python Pickup Program does not authorize the removal of pythons from Everglades National Park. Please do not remove pythons from Park property unless you have authorization from the National Park Service.

What methods of removal can be used?

Pythons may be captured by any legal and humane means, but you must comply with state and local regulations. The use of poisons, remote controlled firearms, gasoline or other chemical or gaseous substances to drive wildlife including pythons from burrows or retreats is prohibited on any property (68A-4.001, Florida Administrative Code).

Is training available?

Pythons may be hand-captured before they are killed. Need some basic instructions on safely and humanely capturing pythons? The FWC offers no-cost Python Patrol trainings across south and southwest Florida. These hands-on training classes, which last 2-3 hours, teach participants safe capture using live pythons. Space is limited and pre-registration is required. A no-cost online training course is available on the FWC’s eLearning site that anyone can take (first time users will need to create a free account first). An educational video on capturing pythons safely is also available for viewing online.

How do I submit proof of python so I can be eligible for prizes?

You can easily submit proof that you have removed and killed a python by supplying the FWC with photographs. Refer to our photo submissions webpage for detailed information on how to submit your

photos* and to see an example of what your submission should look like. After humanely killing a python, take at least two photos that show: The snake has been killed and can be identified as a Burmese python. The snake and a GPS unit that clearly shows the date and location of capture

How do I win prizes?

You will receive a t-shirt after your first proof of python submission has been accepted. T-shirts will be mailed to the address included in the proof of python submission or, in the case of Python Removal Permit holders, mailed to the address on file. And for each proof of python submitted, you will gain one entry into the current monthly prize drawing as well as the grand prize drawing. On the last Friday of each month, 2-3 raffle tickets will be drawn for the monthly prizes.

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