DeSantis Pushes ‘Challenge’ to Remove Invasive Pythons Wreaking ‘Havoc’ on Everglades Ecosystem

June 16, 2022 Updated 2:12 PM ET

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June 16, 2022 Updated 2:10 P.M. ET

MIAMI (FLV) – Registration is open for people who want to remove Burmese pythons from the wild in the 2022 Florida Python Challenge. 

The challenge allows members of the public to compete to win thousands of dollars in prizes from August 5th to August 14th. The public would be required to take online training beforehand. 

“The Everglades is one of the world’s most prized natural resources, and we have invested record funding for Everglades restoration projects, including record funding for removal of invasive Burmese pythons which wreak havoc on the ecosystem,” Governor Ron DeSantis said.

The invasive Burmese pythons have been destroying and damaging native wildlife populations. Their population is increasing at very high rates. A female Burmese python may lay 50 to 100 eggs at a time. More than 16,000 Burmese pythons have been removed since 2000. 

“The Florida Everglades is an iconic habitat in Florida and removing Burmese pythons from this ecosystem is critical to the survival of the species that live in this vast wild area,” said FWC Chairman Rodney Barreto.

The Governor said the event receives worldwide attention from professionals and novice participants. Florida is removing about 60 percent more pythons every year under Governor DeSantis’ administration. 

“The Python Challenge is yet another way to get people directly involved in the protection and stewardship of the Everglades,” said South Florida Water Management District Executive Director Drew Bartlett.

In the 2021 Florida Python Challenge®, participants removed 223 invasive Burmese pythons from the Everglades, more than double the number that was removed in 2020. Over 600 people from 25 states registered to take part in the 10-day competition in 2021.

People can register at FLPythonChallenge.org.

Gov. Ron DeSantis made a record investment of $3 million for python removal efforts. This includes money for new technologies to help detect and remove pythons and near-infrared cameras.

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