TALLAHASSEE, FLa. (WTXL) — On Thursday, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the open registration for the 2022 Florida Python Challenge®, calling all snake hunters to register.
The 10-day Burmese python removal challenge is set to take place Aug. 5 through Aug. 14 in the Florida Everglades. The competition is open to both apprentice and professional participants, giving them the opportunity to win thousands of dollars worth of prizes.
“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,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “Because of this focus, we have removed record numbers of invasive pythons from the Everglades. I am proud of the progress we’ve made, and I look forward to seeing the results of this year’s Python Challenge.”
Participants are required to take the online training once registered to compete.
The annual challenge aims to remove Burmese pythons from the Everglades ecosystem due to the invasive species damaging the wildlife area.
“As a South Florida native, I am thankful to Governor Ron DeSantis for his ongoing commitment to Everglades restoration and protecting our natural resources,” said South Florida Water Management District Governing Board Member “Alligator Ron” Bergeron.
According to South Florida Water Management District Executive Director Drew Bartlett, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and South Florida Water Management District partnership has resulted in about 60% more of pythons removal each year under Gov. DeSantis' leadership.
The Freedom First budget, recently signed by DeSantis, invests $3 million in python removal methods. Research and technology developments for removal are also included such as python detected cameras.
To register for the competition, take the online training, finding South Florida resources and learning more about Burmese pythons, visit FLPythonChallenge.org.