The Python Challenge Begins | Events

There is only one competition that interests the Burmese python: to be the next ruler of the swamp. But the Alliance is here to help end his rule.

Governor DeSantis recently announced that the Florida Python Challenge will now be held annually – and the sporting event will begin on July 9.

But whether this competition takes place every year or every three years, a dedicated team of biologists can be found in the backcountry of Big Cypress National Preserve week after week to learn more about these invading monsters.

A few years ago, the Big Cypress team implanted a group of adult pythons with radio transmitter beacons – scout snakes – to study their behavior in hopes of improving the method.ds to remove them from nature.

Field research requires a variety of equipment and support to maintain and monitor this team of scout snakes and it involves labor-intensive fieldwork that really ramps up around the breeding season. pythons from December to March.

Python_IMG_3200.HEIC Challenge

These rangers may have to travel to the confines of the 729,000 acres of the Preserve and must travel all types of terrain to locate these snakes.

But why are pythons a problem? Pythons prey on a wide range of native wildlife and could lead to the decline of state-listed species like the Big Cypress fox squirrel and Everglades mink, as well as popular game species like the deer. Virginia.

Four female pythons removed this season contained adult deer remains.

The team at Big Cypress knows that these snakes are constantly adapting, so they have become as nimble as the reptiles whose habits they want to learn.

This spring, Big Cypress biologists beta-tested a trap design that, when deployed, should act as an attractant for other snakes.

It is imperative that we maintain a significant number of scout snakes in the field to collect the most comprehensive data possible and that we continue to test new methods of capture and collection.

Python_IMG_3160.HEIC Challenge

The Python program in figures.

Now the question that worries everyone! What are the results ? We have had great success with the python program at Big Cypress National Preserve over the past four years since the program began, including …

  • 66 pythons captured
  • 1,890 developing eggs extracted
  • 3,786 total pounds of python removed

And the biggest python captured this season? She will be a 170 pound hen measuring 15’9 “long!

The Alliance is committed to helping keep Florida’s national parks wild, natural and native. Only your donations allow us to do this. The Alliance for Florida National Parks or contact us at 305 / 665-4769.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *