News Releases

Learn how to catch a python with free hands-on training

News Release

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Media contact: Carli Segelson, 772-215-9459

Plan to participate in the 2016 Python Challenge™ competition? Or do you want to learn how to help protect the Everglades ecosystem from invasive Burmese pythons? If so, consider signing up for one of the 2016 Python Challenge™ in-person training sessions.

Training includes an overview of the 2016 Python Challenge™ and will help teach participants how to identify, locate and safely and humanely capture Burmese pythons. Each training session begins with a classroom presentation followed by an outdoor hands-on session with live, wild-caught pythons.

There is no cost to attend the sessions, which last approximately two hours and are held in both the morning and afternoon. Python Challenge in-person training sessions are available to anyone who is interested; they are optional for competition participants. Training sessions for October and November are offered at the following dates and locations:

Oct. 24 at Big Cypress Swamp Welcome Center, Ochopee

Oct. 25 at FWC Law Enforcement Office, Miami

Oct. 31 at Miami EcoAdventures Center at Castellow Hammock Park

Nov. 1 at Loggerhead Marinelife Center, Juno Beach

Nov. 7 (morning only) at: Everglades Holiday Park, Fort Lauderdale

Nov. 14 at Dickinson Community Center Health Room, Homestead

Nov. 15 at Miami EcoAdventures Center at Castellow Hammock Park

Nov. 21 at Daggerwing Nature Center, Boca Raton

All participants must wear long pants and closed-toe shoes in order to participate. More sessions will also be offered in December, January and February.

To register for 2016 Python Challenge™ in-person training, visit PythonChallenge.Org and click on the “training” link at the bottom of the page. Space is limited so register early.

If you haven’t done so yet, register for the 2016 Python Challenge™ Python Removal competition to see if you can harvest the longest or the most Burmese pythons. The grand prize is $5,000 for the team category and $3,500 for the individual category. All participants are required to take a free online training session before registering for the Python Removal competition, which begins at noon Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016, and ends at 7 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 14, 2016.

The 2016 Python Challenge™ is a conservation effort that includes public outreach on invasive species and a month-long competition to remove Burmese pythons from public lands in south Florida. The aim of the 2016 Python Challenge™ is to engage the public in participating in Everglades conservation through invasive species removal.

Visit PythonChallenge.org for information about 2016 Python Challenge™ registration and training opportunities, Burmese pythons, the unique Everglades ecosystem, competition rules and more.

To report nonnative fish and wildlife, call the FWC’s Exotic Species Hotline at 888-IVE-GOT1 (888-483-4681), report your sighting online at IveGot1.org or download the IveGot1 smartphone app.



FWC Facts:
Scientists can determine the age of a fish by counting growth rings, similar to growth rings of a tree, on otoliths, the “inner ear bones” of fish.

Learn More at AskFWC