FWC Python Action Team removes 500th Burmese python
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) Python Action Team has removed the program’s 500th invasive Burmese python from the wild. Team Members Beth Koehler and Peggy van Gorder captured the snake at 1:15 a.m. on Tuesday, June 25 at Everglades and Francis S. Taylor Wildlife Management Area. It was a 9-foot, 10-inch long female and weighed 20 pounds, 14 ounces.
“The capture of the 500th snake by our Python Action Team marks a significant milestone for this program,” said Eric Sutton, executive director of the FWC. “Gov. Ron DeSantis has been instrumental in keeping this topic a priority. We’re very proud of the
great work these men and women do every day, and it would not be possible without support from the governor and legislature.”
The FWC designed the Python Action Team to further engage qualified individuals with python management efforts. Team members are paid for their efforts to survey for and, when possible, capture Burmese pythons in specific areas throughout many public lands in south Florida.
Occasionally, the FWC receives reports of a large nonnative constrictor through the Exotic Species Hotline (888-IVEGOT1). If available, Python Action Team members are sent to capture it and prevent a new population from establishing in new area.
Burmese pythons became established in Florida due to escaped or released pets. People should never release nonnative pets into the wild in Florida. It is illegal and can negatively impact native wildlife and habitat. The FWC has an Exotic Pet Amnesty Program that allows nonnative pets to be surrendered without penalty. Visit MyFWC.com/PetAmnesty for more information. For more information about the FWC Python Action Team, visit MyFWC.com/Python.