News Releases

2016 Python Challenge™ photo contest kicks off today

News Release

Friday, January 22, 2016

Media contact: Carli Segelson, 772-215-9459; Lisa Thompson, 727-896-8626

Beginning today, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is conducting a photo contest to raise additional awareness about nonnative species in Florida as part of the 2016 Python Challenge™. The contest allows people from all over the world to take part in this awareness effort on the negative impacts of nonnative species.

Every Friday from Jan. 22 to Feb. 12, the FWC will announce a photo contest theme at External Website  and the @MyFWC Instagram account. People can post photos on their Instagram incorporating the theme and tag #PythonChallenge to enter. Two theme photos will be chosen each week and the Instagram winners will receive a Python Challenge™ prize pack including a Python Challenge™ T-shirt, tumbler and more! The Instagram winners from each week will be posted on the @MyFWC Facebook where people can vote for their favorite photos. In the Facebook finals, the photo with the most votes will be the grand prize winner of a GoPro Hero camera!

One of the goals of the 2016 Python Challenge™ is to activate more people to go out, look for and either properly report or (when possible) remove Burmese pythons from the wild. The photo contest is designed to remind the public that they can be a part of the effort to raise awareness about invasive species even if they are not able to travel to South Florida and take part in the 2016 Python Challenge™ Python Removal Competition.

The 2016 Python Challenge™ is a conservation effort that includes an awareness event, social media contests and a month-long competition to remove Burmese pythons from public lands in Florida. The python removal competition in south Florida kicked off on Jan. 16, 2016, and ends on Feb. 14 at 7 pm.

The aim of the 2016 Python Challenge™ is to promote conservation of the greater Everglades ecosystem through invasive species removal.

For details about the photo contest, including official rules, visit External Website and click on “Online Contests” at the bottom of the page. Information about the 2016 Python Challenge™ Python Removal Competition rules, registration, training and more can also be found at External Website.

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

For more information on Burmese pythons and other nonnative species in Florida, go to

FWC Facts:
Gopher frogs will travel great distances, up to a mile or more, to breed in temporary ponds year-round, laying eggs in shallow water.

Learn More at AskFWC