Python Pickup Program

PythonPickupLogo.png

You can win prizes by helping the FWC remove pythons!

The FWC’s Python Pickup Program is an incentive program designed to encourage the public to remove Burmese pythons from the Everglades ecosystem and report locations to the FWC. People who submit proof of python with location of removal will be entered into the monthly prize drawing as well as a grand prize drawing in 2018. Monthly prizes include snake hooks, custom engraved Yeti tumblers, Plano sportsman’s trunks, GoPro cameras and Badlands backpacks, and the grand prize is a Lifetime Sportsman’s License.  Anyone can get involved!

Man with Burmese python

photo credit Clark Glenn

Where can pythons be removed?

You can submit pythons as part of the Python Pickup Program that have been removed from any property in Florida where you have authorization to do so from the land manager or land managing agency.

  • Private lands: Pythons can be removed from private lands at any time with landowner permission - no permit required - and the FWC encourages people to remove pythons from private lands whenever possible. Pythons must be humanely euthanized at the time and site of capture and may not be transported alive off of the private property without a permit from FWC.
  • Commission-managed lands: The FWC allows pythons and other nonnative reptiles to be removed without a permit from 22 Commission-managed lands (listed below) except on those portions of the areas posted as “Closed to Public Access.” Pythons and other nonnative reptiles may be taken without a permit or hunting license at any time throughout the year, except by use of traps or firearms (unless provided for by specific area regulations) on the following Commission-managed Wildlife Management Areas, Public Small Game Hunting Areas (SGAs) and Wildlife and Environmental Areas.  All other area-specific regulations apply. Do not enter areas posted as “Closed to Public Access.”
  • Other public lands: Authorization from the land managing agency is required to remove pythons from other public lands, including federal and other state properties. PLEASE NOTE: the FWC Python Pickup Program does not authorize access to lands outside of the Commission-managed areas listed above. People may seek authorization to remove pythons from other public lands on their own.

    • Big Cypress National Preserve: Burmese pythons may be removed from Big Cypress National Preserve during any established hunting season. A hunting license and Wildlife Management Area permit are required and rules for each hunting season must be followed (for example, use of bow and arrow only during archery season).

    • Everglades National Park: The FWC Python Pickup Program does not authorize the removal of pythons from Everglades National Park. Please do not remove pythons from Park property unless you have authorization from the National Park Service.

What methods of removal can be used?

Pythons may be captured by any legal and humane means, but you must comply with state and local regulations. The use of poisons, remote controlled firearms, or gasoline or other chemical or gaseous substances to drive wildlife including pythons from burrows or retreats is prohibited on any property (68A-4.001, Florida Administrative Code). For detailed information, please refer to our webpage on methods of removal.

Pythons should be euthanized at the time and site of capture unless you have a Python Removal Permit and are removing pythons from the areas authorized by your permit. Euthanasia must be done humanely; please refer to our webpage on humane euthanasia and the standards set forth by the American Veterinary Medical Association for humane euthanasia of reptiles.

Is training available?

Some methods of removal and humane euthanasia require pythons to be hand-captured first. Need some basic instructions on safely and humanely capturing pythons? The FWC offers no-cost Python Patrol training across south and southwest Florida. These hands-on training classes, which last 2-3 hours, teach participants safe capture using live pythons. Space is limited and pre-registration is required. A no-cost online training course is available on the FWC’s eLearning site that anyone can take (first time users will need to create a free account first). An educational video on capturing pythons safely is also available for viewing online.

How do I submit proof of python so I can be eligible for prizes?

You can easily submit proof that you have removed a python by supplying the FWC with photographs. Refer to our webpage on photo submissions for detailed information on how to submit your photos* and to see an example of what your submission should look like. After humanely euthanizing a python, take at least two photos that show:

  • The snake has been humanely euthanized and can be identified as a Burmese python
  • The snake and a GPS unit that clearly shows the date and location of capture

*By submitting photos to the Python Pickup Program, participants grant permission to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to use such photos for training, informational and promotional purposes.

How do I win prizes?

You will receive a t-shirt after your first proof of python submission has been accepted. T-shirts will be mailed to the address included in the proof of python submission or, in the case of Python Removal Permit holders, mailed to the address on file. And for each proof of python submitted, you will gain one entry into the current monthly prize drawing as well as the grand prize drawing. On the last Friday of each month, 2-3 raffle tickets will be drawn for the monthly prizes. Winners will be notified by phone and/or email. FWC staff will coordinate pickup or delivery of prizes with the monthly winners. There are no limits to how many times you may enter the raffle drawings. Participants that submit false data will not be eligible to win any prizes. Please refer to our webpage on Python Pickup prizes for drawing dates and a list of prizes.

Python Pickup Program details

Additional Resources

Learn more about pythons in Florida



FWC Facts:
Blue-green algae are among the oldest organisms found on Earth. Their fossils date back 3.5 billion years.

Learn More at AskFWC