Florida adds prizes to boost python removals in Everglades

- Florida is making it easier for people to help remove invasive Burmese pythons from the Everglades.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials announced Monday new incentives to report and remove the giant constrictors blamed for decimating populations of native animals.

Under the Python Pickup Program, anyone submitting the location and a photograph of a python removal on certain state-managed lands will receive a T-shirt and be entered into monthly prize drawings. The prizes include snake hooks, custom engraved Yeti tumblers, Plano sportsman’s trunks, GoPro cameras and Badlands backpacks. 

An executive order now allows people to remove pythons year-round from 22 public lands without a hunting license or wildlife management area permit. The state also is paying more contractors to remove pythons from specific areas.

The program also extends to private lands, with landowners' approval.

Python Patrol Training is available to teach people how to identify and remove pythons. For more information, go to MyFWC.com/Python and click on “Python Patrol.”

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