Governor DeSantis Announces More Than 3,600 Pythons Removed From Everglades
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis applauded Florida wildlife officials Monday for the successful removal of thousands of Burmese python from the Florida Everglades.
DeSantis announced that more than 3,600 Burmese pythons have been removed from the Everglades since the inception of Florida Fish and Wild Life Conservation Commission’s Python Action Team and South Florida Water Management District’s Python Elimination Program in 2017.
In October alone, FWC removed 1,000 Burmese pythons from the everglades system. Their 1,000 removed pythons compliments to the 2,600 removed by the South Florida Water Management District.
The FWC said its contractors captured its 1,000th python in October which measured in at 9’ 5” long and 23 pounds. It was captured in the Chekika region of the Everglades National Park by Tom Rahill and the Swamp Apes Team, a group dedicated to serving veterans through serving wildlife. The SFWMD has a separate task force dedicated to capturing the reptiles.
The governor described their joint efforts as a fight and called the results an “important milestone”.
“The removal of more than 3,600 pythons by FWC and the South Florida Water Management District is an important milestone in this fight and demonstrates that our policies are working,” DeSantis said.
According to a press release, the increase of captured pythons is attributable to a recent move by state officials to double the amount of contractors working on the Action Team.
Members of FWC’s Python Team have a backgrounds as hunters, anglers, and outdoors-men. They are paid an hourly wage with incentives such as $50 for capturing a python up to four feet and an additional $25 for per foot over four feet.
The Python Removal Agents can also make an additional $200 for each python found guarding a nest and eggs.
Mike Kimmel, a Python Contractor with the South Florida Water Management, said he’s seen wildlife improvements since he began in 2017.
“The programs have only been going on for two years, maybe a little bit longer. I’m already seeing an increase in wildlife,” Kimmel said. “I’m already seeing on average that I’m catching smaller pythons.”
October’s 1,000th captured python measured in at 9’ 5” long and 23 pounds, FWC announced on Facebook. It was captured in the Chekika region of the Everglades National Park by Tom Rahill and the Swamp Apes Team, a group dedicated to serving veterans through serving wildlife.
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