Kyle Penniston, of Homestead, made the solo capture of a 17-foot, 5-inch female Burmese python while hunting on SFWMD lands in Miami-Dade County in Nov. 2018.

Kyle Penniston, of Homestead, made the solo capture of a 17-foot, 5-inch female Burmese python while hunting on SFWMD lands in Miami-Dade County in Nov. 2018.

The South Florida Water Management District Governing Board agreed Thursday to double its number of hunters who are trying to eradicate invasive Burmese pythons.

The board also directed staff members to work on an agreement with federal agencies and other state agencies to give access to more state and federal lands for the district hunters.

Staff members were also directed to contract with the University of Florida to find a scientific means --- from reptile monitoring to assessments of the impact of removal efforts --- to aid in eliminating pythons.

The district pays an hourly wage and a bounty based on sizes of snakes to trained hunters, who since March 2017 have removed more than 2,500 pythons. 

Thursday’s decisions came a month after Gov. Ron DeSantis called for more hunters as part of a statewide expansion of efforts to eradicate the invasive species from state parks.

DeSantis also directed the district and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to double resources in the upcoming year, to collaborate on training and research and to jointly hold an annual python

eradication “challenge” rather than once every three years.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.