Unwanted guests are slithering all over the Everglades, but beginning Friday, adventurous Floridians will be handing them eviction notices.
The 2021 Python Challenge kicks off at 8 a.m. on Friday, will run through July 18. It is part of an effort to remove invasive Burmese pythons from Florida’s ecosystem.
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Burmese pythons are a threat to native wildlife. They are predominantly found in Asia, and are also found in parts of eastern India through Vietnam and southern China.
During the challenge, the Burmese pythons must be removed and killed from participating areas to be considered as valid entries in the competition.
Governor Ron DeSantis is backing the challenge, and is encouraging those who want to take an active role in conservation, to register.
“As part of my focus on restoring the Everglades, I’ve charged FWC with dedicating more resources and taking innovative approaches to removing invasive Burmese pythons, which can grow to 20 feet in length, weigh up to 200 pounds and cause major damage to (the) ecosystem,” DeSantis said in a news conference to announce the beginning of registration for the challenge.
Participants can register in two categories, novice or professional. Prizes range from $750-$2,500.
For more information about this year’s python challenge and how you can register, click here.