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Florida Begins Burmese Python Eradication Permit Program

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 snake’s requirements for survival. This knowledge can help eradicate the Burmese python from Florida.

"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."

 


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