Florida’s Python Challenge Nets 2,000 Pounds of Invasive SnakesThe Rainforest Site
For the second year in a row, snake hunters from dozens of states ascended on Florida to take part in the 2016 Python Challenge, a collaborative month-long effort of the Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The goal: Round up as many invasive Burmese pythons as possible by whatever means are appropriate.
The Burmese python's assault on Florida's Everglades is profound. The snake and its voracious appetite, coupled with its prolific capacity to reproduce, has caused an upset in the fragile Everglades ecosystem, all but decimating local populations of rabbits and foxes and causing a massive blow to local opossums, bobcats, deer and raccoons.
Initiatives such as the Python Challenge help, but researchers estimate that tens of thousands of these invasive reptiles may lurk in Florida's marshes and swamps, making the 106 taken out of circulation during the hunt just a small drop in a very large bucket. Learn more about how invasive species damage ecosystems.