July 15, 2009
Everglades, FL – A program to begin addressing the
invasion of Burmese pythons in the Everglades begins on Friday,
July 17. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC)
initiated a permit program that will allow herpetology experts to
go into state-managed lands in South Florida and search for and
euthanize Burmese pythons and other Reptiles of Concern.
FWC staff screened the participants in this initial program. All
permit holders are required to provide the FWC with GPS locations
of each captured python and to take a digital photo. The FWC will
then study the data, which will include location, size and stomach
contents, to help further understand the spread of this nonnative
species. Armed with data, the FWC can share valuable information
with the U.S. Geological Survey and Everglades National Park,
which are investigating the behavior and biology of the Burmese
python for a better understanding of the snakeâ€™s requirements
for survival. This knowledge can help eradicate the Burmese python
"One Burmese python is too many," said Scott Hardin, FWC's Exotic
Species Section leader. "We hope this program is the basis for a
larger, expanded program that will aid us in preventing the spread
of this species."
The permits for the first phase of this program go from July 17 to
Oct. 31. The FWC will then evaluate expanding the program.
"This is a good way to collect information critical to finding the
best way to eradicate this harmful snake," said Nick Wiley, FWC's
assistant executive director. "This is a strategic and responsible
approach to begin solving the problem of pythons in Florida."